Discuss the view that class is still the most important factor influencing the way people vote

1339 WordsJan 31, 20156 Pages
Discuss the view that class is still the most important factor influencing the way people vote Voting behaviour is the way in which the individuals of the electorate vote. Typically this can be divided into a sociological approach based on entrenched characteristics such as class, age and region and rational choice approach based on individual decisions based on political issues, governance and party leaders or image. Between the years of 1945-1970 social class dominantly shaped the voting behaviour of individuals. Whilst there has been a decline in prominence of class voting: Labour remains the most popular working class party and Conservatives perform best among middle-class voters. Social classes are defined by economic and social…show more content…
Conservatives receive an increasing percentage of votes in correlation with age and Lib Dem and Labour have high performance among the younger groups. The writer G.B. Shaw once wrote that, 'If you are not a socialist by the time you are 25, you have no heart. If you are not a Conservative by the time you are 35, you have no head'. There is the entrenched view that young people are more liberal whilst as individuals grow older they become more set in their ways, more wedded to traditional values and attitudes and more likely to believe that Conservative governments are more likely to safeguard their financial and personal security which appear increasingly important in later life. Considering this, surprisingly in the 2010 general election, the ages of 18-24 voted fairly equally between the three main parties with the age bias gap only really becoming apparent from the age 55 onwards. This shows that younger prejudices and party alignment are not as ingrained as that of the elderly meaning that old people may be influenced in their voting behaviour by their age but the same is not as apparent for young people, despite the surface recognition that it is. Yet the implication of young people sharing their votes between parties could be due to other factors, when

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