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Victorian voting: the origins of party orientation and class alignment

Dewan, Torun, Meriläinen, Jaakko and Tukiainen, Janne (2019) Victorian voting: the origins of party orientation and class alignment. Working Papers (122). Valtion taloudellinen tutkimuskeskus (VATT), Helsinki, FI. ISBN 9789522742414

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Abstract

Much of what we know about the alignment of voters with parties comes from mass surveys of the electorate in the postwar period or from aggregate electoral data. Using individual elector level panel data from 19th-century United Kingdom poll books, we reassess the development of a party-centred electorate. We show that (i) the electorate was party-centred by the time of the extension of the franchise in 1867; (ii) a decline in candidate-centred voting is largely attributable to changes in the behaviour of the working class; and (iii) the enfranchised working class aligned with the Liberal left. This early alignment of the working class with the left cannot entirely be explained by a decrease in vote buying. The evidence suggests instead that the alignment was based on the programmatic appeal of the Liberals. We argue that these facts can plausibly explain the subsequent development of the party system.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL: https://vatt.fi/en/publications/vatt-working-paper...
Additional Information: © 2019 The Authors
Divisions: Government
Subjects: J Political Science > JC Political theory
JEL classification: C - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods > C2 - Econometric Methods: Single Equation Models; Single Variables > C23 - Models with Panel Data
D - Microeconomics > D7 - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making > D72 - Economic Models of Political Processes: Rent-Seeking, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
N - Economic History > N3 - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Income, and Wealth > N33 - Economic History: Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Income and Wealth: Europe: Pre-1913
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2019 09:45
Last Modified: 29 Jul 2020 23:09
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/102947

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