Recency V Primacy Factors - Voting Behaviour

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Submitted By katief199
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Consider the extent to which short-term factors are now far more important than long-term factors in shaping voting behaviour.

Many factors are said to impact the way in which people vote, some factors been long term whilst some are seen to be short term, however it is evident they all cross over to determine the way in which people vote. However, Peter Pulser once said that ‘ class is the basis of all party politics all else is embellishment and detail’ however this long-term factor has an impact along side other factors that shape voting behaviour these are Ethnicity, the Media, Age and recent events.

Firstly, class is an important determinant of voting behaviour and this is a long-term factor. In the 1950s/60s, due to strong class alignment particular groups identified strongly with a class. This meant that people were more likely to turnout and vote for a particular party because of their allegiances. A/B/C1 were linked to the Conservatives because of their strong stance on tax and law and order, whilst C2/D/E were Labour since they were likely to be unionised and or accessing the Welfare State. However, since the introduction of Thatcher’s ‘right to buy’ people began to feel more middle class; also referred to as embourgeoisement. However, since Thatcher C2 voters were labelled as ‘the working class Tories’ with Thatcher receiving more votes from the C2 voters, however in the 2010 general election the conservatives gained votes from all ‘classes’. The idea that class is a key determiner in the way shaping voting behaviour is supported by Peter Pulser quote ‘ class is the basis of all party politics all else is embellishment and detail.’ This therefore shows that class, as a long-term factor is just as important as a short-term factor in shaping voting behaviour.

However, it could be argued the increase in votes from conservatives could be due to the…...

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