Long-Term Factors Affecting Voting Behaviour
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Long-Term Factors Affecting Voting Behaviour. Identify a range of long-term factors that affect voting behaviour. Assess the impact of the above long-term factors on voting behaviour at recent elections.

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Long-Term Factors Affecting Voting Behaviour

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Long term factors affecting voting behaviour

Long-Term Factors Affecting Voting Behaviour

  • Identify a range of long-term factors that affect voting behaviour.

  • Assess the impact of the above long-term factors on voting behaviour at recent elections.

In this section you will learn that as well as the media and class, there are a number of other long-term factors that affect voting behaviour in the UK. These factors include age, gender, place and race.


Age young people

Age – young people

  • Younger voters are most likely to switch their support from election to election.

  • They are least likely to turn out.

  • They were most likely to vote Lib Dem in recent years particularly among student population as the Lib Dems had promised to scrap Student fees. This has not happened however.


Age older people

Age – Older People

  • Older people are more likely to vote Conservative.

  • As people become older their view and beliefs often become more ‘conservative’.

  • Age is a factor that affects voting behaviour but not one of the most important.


Long term factors affecting voting behaviour

Age Group

Conservative

Labour

Lib. Dem

18-24

30

31

30

25-34

35

30

29

55-64

38

28

23

Age 65+

44

31

16

  • Long-term Factors Affecting Voting Behaviour: Age

  • The Conservative’s traditional policies of lower taxation and less radical change may appeal to elderly people, many of which are wealthy.

  • However, it may be that as people become older they move up the ‘social ladder’ so it a change of class rather than age that is affecting older voters.

  • Labour / Lib. Democrats have greater focus on education which appeals to younger voters.

Source Ipsos/Mori 2010


Gender

Gender

  • Until recently the evidence suggested that women were more likely to vote Conservative than men.

  • In 1997 Labour changed this with a high number of female candidates and policies which appealed to women. This resulted in 101 women MP’s.

  • In 2010 Labour’s support among women fell significantly. There was an absence of high profile female politicians.

  • Today in the House of Commons there are 144 female MP’s out of 649 (approx 22%).


Long term factors affecting voting behaviour

Conservative

Labour

LibDem

Men

38

28

22

Women

36

31

26

Gender

Labour targeted families with children for most support e.g. Child Trust Fund.

Lower paid women workers also benefited more from policies such as the Minimum Wage.

In 2010, Labour continued to have marginally more support from women voters.

Labour is also traditionally the party with more female representatives and actively promote gender equality within the party.

Source Ipsos/Mori 2010


Geography

Geography

  • In the past there has been evidence of a North-South divide in voting.

  • Traditionally the Conservatives were much stronger in the southern half of England, including the English Midlands. Labour on the other hands were much stronger in Scotland, Northern England and Wales.

  • In the 2005 Election, the Conservatives won only 1 seat in Scotland and 3 in Wales.

  • In 2010 the Conservatives still only had 1 MP in Scotland, but made some breakthroughs in Wales.

  • The situation is more complex than a simple north-south divide.


Long term factors affecting voting behaviour

1992

2010


Long term factors affecting voting behaviour

Long-term Factors Affecting Voting Behaviour: Place

  • Geographic Location

  • Place or geographic location plays a part in affecting voting choice:

  • generally, the further south and east someone lives (outside inner London) the more likely they are to vote Conservative; the further north and west, not Conservative.

  • • people in urban areas are more likely to vote Labour; rural areas Conservative or Liberal Democrat.

  • again, people in the South and East tend to wealthier than those elsewhere so location may also be linked to social class.


Long term factors affecting voting behaviour

Long-term Factors Affecting Voting Behaviour: Place

Tenure(Whether people own or rent their home)

Generally, a person is more likely to vote Labour if they rent their home and Conservative if they have a mortgage or have bought their home outright. However, as people who are wealthier can afford to buy this may again link to class.

2010 General Election

Cons.Lab.Lib Dems.

Owned 452421

Rented 244719

Source Ipsos/Mori 2010


Ethnicity

ETHNICITY

  • Of all voters those from ethnic minorities are least likely to vote. Voter registration tends to be below average.

  • The number of ethnic minority MP’s is increasing. In 2010 27 were elected, up from 14.

Race


Ethnicity1

Ethnicity

  • A majority of Black and Asian voters support the Labour party.

  • This is due to Labour’s more liberal stance on issues such as immigration and asylum seekers.

  • Labour has traditionally been both more sympathetic to immigration and to poorer groups of which minorities are more likely to be in.

  • Ethnic minority voters are heavily concentrated in inner city areas where Labour support has traditionally been strong.


Long term factors affecting voting behaviour

Long-term Factors Affecting Voting Behaviour: Race

  • Ethnicity

  • A significant minority of Asian voters vote Conservative e.g. 25% in the 1997 election.

  • in 2005, unlike 1997 and 2001 where close to 90% of people from ethnic minority groups opted for Labour, a greater number of Asian votersswitched away from Labour as a protest vote over the invasion of Iraq.

  • In 2010, 8% of voters were from ethnic minority groups with the majority (80%) of those supporting Labour.


Long term factors affecting voting behaviour

Long-term Factors Affecting Voting Behaviour

How can I remember all the long-term factors affecting voting behaviour? Try the following:

GGender F Friends/family

EEthnicity A Age

O Occupation C Class

RReligionE Electoral system

GGeography

EEducation

GEORGE FACE


Long term factors affecting voting behaviour

Long-term Factors Affecting Voting Behaviour

1. What links are there between age and voting behaviour. Make two points.

2. Refer to tables 1.21 and 1.22. What conclusions can made be regarding social class and party support?

3. “Geographic location and housing tenure have no impact on voting behaviour.” Gerald Nyakura

What information is there to oppose Gerald’s view. Make two points.

4. Explain why people from ethnic minority groups have traditionally supported Labour. Make two points.

5. To what extent do long-term factors affect voting behaviour in the UK?

Reading: “Political Issues in the UK” pages 25-27.


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