Parties in the Voter’s Mind

  • David Butler
  • Donald Stokes


The role played by the parties in giving shape and direction to the behaviour of voters is so taken for granted that its importance is easily missed. Without it, however, the mass of the people could scarcely participate in regular transfers of power. Individual electors accept the parties as leading actors on the political stage and see in partisan terms the meaning of the choices which the universal franchise puts before them. British government would be fundamentally changed if parties were absent from the voter’s mind.


Party System Local Election Party Identification Vote Preference Party Control 
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Copyright information

© David Butler and Donald Stokes 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Butler
    • 1
  • Donald Stokes
    • 2
  1. 1.Nuffield CollegeOxfordUK
  2. 2.Princeton UniversityUSA

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