How Far Do Social Factors Impact Voting Behaviour? Year 12 Essay

1156 words - 5 pages

Social factors do have an impact on voting behaviour, such as class and regionalism. However, there are social factors which do not have an impact, such as age, gender and background. However some of these factors can be closely linked to class which clearly does have an impact on voting behaviour so it is clear that social factors do have an impact. There are other factors which play into voting behaviour too, which are not social factors, such as valance, policies and party image.
Social factors do have an impact on voting behaviour, such as class and regionalism. Class can have a big impact on voting behaviour, as the upper and middle class tend to vote for the conservative party, whereas the working class tend to vote for the Labour Party. For example, in the 2017 general election just under 50% of Labour voters fell under the DE (unemployed) class specification, while just below 50% of the Conservative voters fell under the AB (middle/upper) class specification. This clearly has a huge impact on voting behaviour, as in most cases, there is a clear correlation between the class that one falls under and the party that they vote for. However, there have been cases where people have started to move away from voting for a party due to their class. In the 2010 General Election the Conservatives gained from all groups with the exception of the lowest class DE which stayed Labour. ABC1 (grouped together) had a 39% vote for the Conservatives while Labour had 27%. In the C2 class 37% voted Conservative compared to 29% for Labour, and in the DE group 31% voted Conservative and 40% Labour. This shows that although there is some correlation and that class can have an impact on voting behaviour, in recent years, that has become less apparent and people are starting to move away from this. However, this doesn’t apply in most cases and you still have classes voting for the two major parties based on their class. Another social factor which has an impact on voting behaviour, is regionalism. There is a consistent north/ south divide in voting behaviour in the UK. The north tends to favour Labour and the south favours the Conservative Party. In 2001, the southern part of England voted 56.3% for the Conservative Party whilst the north of England, Scotland and Wales voted 82.4% in favour of the Labour Party. This pattern may be linked to the industrial past of the UK when heavy industry and links to trade unions were concentrated in Central Scotland, the North of England and Wales. However, this could be argued that although people do vote based on where they live, it actually links to class. For example, the borough of Kensington and Chelsea is the richest with the average gross annual household income being £101,600, with many upper class families living in this borough. The region in which you live in is almost directly linked to class, so although class can have an impact on voting behaviour, it is more or less tied into class. Although people could argue...

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