Political Choice in Britain
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Political Choice in Britain by Harold D. Clarke
Book DescriptionWhy do people vote as they do? Indeed, why do they vote at all? What do they think about elections, political parties, and democracy? This important book by four leading scholars addresses these questions. Using a wealth of data from the 1964-2001 British election studies, monthly Gallup polls, and numerous other national surveys conducted over the past four decades, the authors test the explanatory power of rival sociological and individual rationality models of turnout and party choice. Analyses of party choice endorse a valence politics model that challenges the long-dominant social class model. British voters make their political choices by evaluating the performance of parties and party leaders in economic and other important policy areas. Although these evaluations may be products of events and conditions that occur long before an election campaign officially begins, parties' national and local campaign activities are also influential. Consistent with the valence politics model, partisan attachments display individual- and aggregate-level dynamics that reflect ongoing judgements about the managerial abilities of parties and their leaders. A general incentives model provides the best explanation of turnout. Calculations of the costs and influence-discounted benefits of voting and sense of civic duty are key variables in this model. Significantly, the decline in turnout in recent elections does not reflect more general negative trends in public attitudes about the political system. Voters judge the performance of British democracy in much the same way as they evaluate its parties and politicians. Support at all levels of the system is a renewable resource, but one that must be renewed. A command of theory, data, models, and method ensure that Political Choice in Britain will be a major resource for all those interested in elections, voting, and democracy.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780199244881
(242mm x 163mm x 27mm)
Imprint: Oxford University Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publish Date: 25-Mar-2004
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Harold D. Clarke
Political Choice in Britain, Hardback (December 2015)
This book tells the story of the 2015 General Election in Britain. It examines the record and performance of the Coalition government and the details of the campaign in the run-up to the election. It looks closely at why people voted the way they did and the outcome in relation to constituencies won and lost across Britain.
Affluence, Austerity and Electoral Change in Britain, Hardback (September 2013)
An original account of why individuals choose one party over another, and why elections are won or lost in Britain.
Citizens and Community, Paperback (March 2011)
This book addresses political legitimacy and system support in one democracy, Canada.
Performance Politics and the British Voter, Hardback (July 2009)» View all books by Harold D. Clarke
Shows that judgment of party competence is at the heart of electoral choice in contemporary Britain.
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