By Professor Geoffrey Evans, Dr Pippa Norris
Did Labour's landslide victory in 1997 mark a serious watershed in British celebration politics? Did the novel holiday with 18 years of Conservative rule mirror a basic swap within the social and ideological foundation of British balloting behaviour? serious Elections brings jointly prime students of events, elections and balloting behaviour to supply the 1st systematic evaluation of long term switch in British electoral politics.
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Additional resources for Critical Elections: British Parties and Voters in Long-term Perspective
In which more or less profound readjustments occur in the relations of power within the community, and in which new and durable electoral groupings are formed'. These exceptional contests represent sudden and large breaks in the established social and ideological basis of party competition, with enduring consequences for government and for the public policy agenda. Critical elections move the party system from equilibrium to a new level and then the new level stabilizes and consolidates. The classic exemplar is the 1 928-32 New Deal coalition assembled by Roosevelt, returning Democrats in the White House for a quarter century and still evident in faded form today, forging a diverse alliance of conservative, southern Dixiecrats with northern blacks, rust-belt unionized blue-collar workers with mid-western small farmers, and urban Italian and Irish emigres with liberal Jews (Burnham 1970).
Of course, no manifesto makes exclusively 'left' and 'right' wing refer ences - many sentences do not fall under either type, and those that do are mixed in character. 2 TFte left-rigFtt coding scale Codings of manifesto sentences Right emphases (sum of %s for) Left emphases (sum of % s for) Decolonization Pro-military Anti-military Freedom. human rights Peace Constitutionalism Internationalism Effective authority Democracy Free enterprise Regulate capitalism Economic incentives Minus Economic planning Anti-protectionism Pro-protectionism Economic orthodoxy Controlled economy Social services limitation Nationalization National way of life Social services expansion Traditional morality Education expansion Law and order Pro-labour Social harmony Source: Comparative Manifestos Project Klingemann et al.
In Chapter 10, David Sanders considers long-term trends in public opinion on the major left-right cleavages concerning the economy and welfare state, and the importance of political ideology for electoral behaviour. Did Labour's catch-all strategy reduce the relevance of ideology for voting choice? Sanders establishes that in 1 997 ideology did have far less influence over the electoral decisions of Labour voters than in any previous election since the BES series started in 1 964, a devel opment which can plausibly be attributed to Blair's move towards the centre-ground of British politics.