DOI link for Voting behaviour
Voting behaviour book
The period of 1945–70 was one of relative stability in British voting behaviour. Studies at this time concentrated on the social attributes of voters, identifying a strong relationship between social class and voting, often termed ‘class alignment’. Partisanship or ‘partisan alignment’ was another key feature of UK politics in the early post-war period. The stability of voting behaviour between 1945 and 1970 underpinned, but also partly reflected, Britain’s stable two-party system in which the Conservatives and Labour averaged more than 91 per cent of the vote in the eight general elections in this period. Class dealignment refers to the weakening of the relationship between social class and support for a particular political party. Partisan dealignment refers to the decline in the scale and strength of voters’ identification with the main political parties. Social and economic changes over the last 40 years have eroded traditional class identities and weakened the relationship between class and voting.