The Decline of Past Alignments

  • David Butler
  • Donald Stokes


A two-party struggle between Conservative and Labour with party loyalty largely linked to class has dominated British politics for forty years and more. It is easy to forget that at the start of this century the basis of politics was very different. The Labour Party scarcely mattered and religion was at least as important as class in shaping partisanship. The fundamental realignments that have taken place over the last two generations have only slowly obliterated the old structure and, as we suggested in Chapter 3, it is not only in elderly survivors of a bygone era but also in their descendants that its political patterns can still be traced.


Middle Class Church Attendance Labour Party Early Preference Conservative Party 
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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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