Crosses on the Ballot PATTERNS OF BRITISH VOTER ALIGNMENT by Kenneth D. Wald

By Kenneth D. Wald

In an exploration of mass voter alignments in nice Britain, Kenneth D. Wald illuminates the electoral outcomes of significant social divisions and the connection among social constitution and partisanship. He establishes that the transition from faith to social classification because the leader effect on British balloting happened after global battle I, as such a lot students have presumed, instead of ahead of the conflict, as a few fresh revisionist discussions have claimed.

Originally released in 1983.

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The data confirm the suspicion that the use of London as a model prejudices the case for class politics from the outset. The London index of class voting for the entire period averaged three points higher than the level in the provinces. Only in a single election, 1886, did provincial 51 Robert Alford, Party and Society, ch. 5. (85) (27) Class Politics without Class Parties? voting adhere to class lines more closely than in London. 1 also show that the progression of the class alignment followed different patterns.

See Ensor, England, pp. 206-207, 377-378. 35 L. T. , New York: Oxford University Press, 1964), pp. 112-113. 36 T. W. Heyck, "Home Rule, Radicalism and the Liberal Party," pp. 66-91. 37 Gordon Goodman, "Liberal Unionism: The Revolt of the Whigs," pp. 173—189; Maurice Woods, A History of the ToryParty (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1924), p. 438. Class Politics without Class Parties? "38 This reorientation was es­ sential to a party shorn of its middle-class base. "39 Thus, in 1886 began a discernible shift of the Liberal party away from its traditional policies toward a far more activist and class-oriented position.

425-426. 30 Clarke, "Electoral Sociology," p. 51. 28 James Class Politics without Class Parties? " We can discern at least three different conceptions of "class" in this confusing welter of terms. The Weberian emphasis on socioeconomic status is apparent in studies which assign class position on the basis of levels of material com­ fort or deprivation. The distinction between manual and nonmanual work seems concerned primarily with aspects of occupational prestige. In the studies which equate the work­ ing class with industrial producers, we find the familiar Marxist conception of class position as a function of the occupational structure.

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