The Dominant Class Alignment

  • David Butler
  • Donald Stokes


In contemporary interpretations of British voting behavior class is accorded the leading role. Pulzer was entirely in the academic main stream when he wrote, “class is the basis of British party politics; all else is embellishment and detail.”1 The same view is echoed among party activists. The Labour canvasser is warned away from the surburban areas “lest he stir them up,” while some Conservative agents can he heard dismissing public housing areas as “90 per cent Socialist.” There is, in fact, evidence that party allegiance has followed class lines more strongly in Britain than anywhere else in the English-speaking world.2


Middle Class Labour Party Class Interest Party Support Political Norm 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    P.G.J. Pulzer, Political Representation and Elections, London, 1967, p. 98.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    An excellent comparative survey of Britain, Canada, Australia and the United States appears in R.R. Alford, Party and Society, Chicago, 1963.Google Scholar
  3. See A. Robinson in S. Lipset and S. Rokkan, ed., Party Systems and Voter Alignments, New York, 1967, pp. 95–112.Google Scholar
  4. 3.
    See A.M. Carr-Saunders and D. Caradog Jones, A Survey of the Social Structure of England and Wales, 2nd ed., Oxford, 1937.Google Scholar
  5. D.V. Glass, ed., Social Mobility in Britain, London, 1954Google Scholar
  6. W.G. Runciman, Relative Deprivation and Social Justice, London, 1966Google Scholar
  7. Margaret Stacey, Tradition and Change, A Study of Banbury, London, 1960Google Scholar
  8. R. Hoggart, The Uses of Literacy, London, 1957Google Scholar
  9. E. Bott, Family and Social Network, London, 1957Google Scholar
  10. J.H. Goldthorpe and D. Lockwood, “Affluence and the British Class Structure,” Sociological Review, n.s. 11 (1963), 133–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 14.
    The full Gallup figures on this from 1945 to 1964 are set out in an article by Dr. Henry Durant in R. Rose, Studies in British Politics, London, 1966, pp. 122–28. The National Opinion Poll figures for 1964 are set out in The British General Election of 1964, p. 296, and for 1966 in The British General Election of 1966, p. 260.Google Scholar
  12. 15.
    See D. Lockwood, The Balck-Coated Worker, London, 1958Google Scholar
  13. J. Goldthorpe, D. Lockwood, F. Bechhofer and J. Platt, The Affluent Worker: Political Attitudes and Behaviour, London, 1968Google Scholar
  14. W. G. Runciman, Relative Deprivation and Social Justice, London and Berkeley, 1966Google Scholar
  15. W. G. Runciman, Social Science and Political Theory, Cambridge, 1963, p. 94.Google Scholar
  16. 19.
    The format of these scales followed the lines of the “semantic differential” technique due to Charles Osgood and his associates, See. C. E. Osgood, G. J. Suci and P. H. Tannenbaum, The Measurement of Meaning, Urbana, 1957Google Scholar
  17. 21.
    R. Dahrendorf, Class and Class Conflict in Industrial Society, rev. ed., Stanford 1959, p. 284.Google Scholar
  18. 23.
    F. Parkin, “Working Class Conservatives: A Theory of Political Deviance,” British Journal of Sociology, 18 (1967), 280.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© David Butler and Donald Stokes 1971

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Butler
    • 1
  • Donald Stokes
    • 2
  1. 1.Nuffield CollegeOxfordUK
  2. 2.Center for Political StudiesUniversity of MichiganUSA

Personalised recommendations