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Affluence, Austerity and Electoral Change in Britain

Affluence, Austerity and Electoral Change in Britain

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Paul Whiteley, Harold D. Clarke, David Sanders, Marianne C. Stewart
Cambridge University Press, 2013-09-12
EAN 9781107641167, ISBN10: 1107641160

Hardcover, 332 pages, 22.4 x 15 x 1.8 cm

Affluence, Austerity and Electoral Change in Britain investigates the political economy of party support for British political parties since Tony Blair led New Labour to power in 1997. Using valence politics models of electoral choice and marshalling an unprecedented wealth of survey data collected in the British Election Study's monthly Continuous Monitoring Surveys, the authors trace forces affecting support for New Labour during its thirteen years in office. They then study how the recessionary economy has influenced the dynamics of party support since the Conservative-Liberal Democrat Coalition came to power in May 2010 and factors that shaped voting in Britain's May 2011 national referendum on changing the electoral system. Placing Britain in comparative perspective with cross-national survey data gathered in the midst of the worst recession since the 1930s, the authors investigate how the economic crisis has affected support for incumbent governments and democratic politics in over twenty European countries.

Advance praise: 'More than a sequel to the two highly regarded previous British Election Study volumes on the 2001 and 2005 campaigns, this book reinforces earlier evidence on the importance of valence issues with new material from the 2010 elections. Now the authors add a dynamic element, tracking the ebb and flow of party vote shares across elections - along with detailed new evidence on the campaign dynamics in 2010. Whiteley and his colleagues produce an impressive holistic model to explain how contemporary electoral democracy works in Britain and how it has been changing.' Russell J. Dalton, University of California, Irvine