Assess the Extent to Which Short Term Factors Are Now More Important Than Long Term Factors in Shaping Voting Behaviour

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The electorate are those that are eligible to vote, and many factors can influence the way in which the electorate do vote. Primacy, also known as long-term, factors are those that have a long term influence on the way in which somebody votes, for example the social class in which that person belongs to. Recency also referred to as short-term, factors are those which have a short-term influence and most prominently during the lead up to an election, an example of a recency factor is the impact of mass media. In the last few decades many long-term factors have become less important due to partisan and social de-alignment, whilst the short-term factors have been ever more emphasised and prominent. To begin, the period of 1945-1970 was…show more content…
This occurred due to embourgeoisement, which was the tendency of the better-off working class people with aspirations to become more like the middle classes in their social outlook and voting behaviour. This new type of class was classified by Crewe as the “new working class” of the new estates and new service economy of the South. The voting behaviour had been changed, instead of voting for Labour the “new working class” were more inclined to the tax cut, nationalisation and union policies of the Conservatives. Also, demographic changes lead to inner cities emptying and their electoral base eroded, whilst the South grew where it had a concentration of Conservative voters. Therefore, the long-term factors of social class and party identification have become less important in shaping the voting behaviour, mainly as the working class was less aligned to Labour. However, the general election results of 2005 suggest there is still a small link between social class and voting as Labour had a clear majority against the Conservatives in some of the inner cities, where the concentration of working class lie. There is great evidence to suggest that short-term factors have been very influential in the voting behaviour of the electorate today. To support this, Denver in 2003, noted that voting is now much influenced by the opinions and

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