Voting behaviour

  • F. N. Forman
  • N. D. J. Baldwin
Part of the Macmillan Master Series book series (MACMMA)


Voting behaviour in Britain since the Second World War (1939–45) has been characterised mainly by the tendency of the electorate at General Elections to divide between two main parties, namely the Conservative Party and the Labour Party. There have been occasions in recent history, however, when the formation of a three-party — or in Wales and especially in Scotland a four-party — system seemed to be imminent. For example, in the early 1970s there was a revival in the fortunes both of the Liberal Party and of the Nationalist parties, with the Liberal Party taking 19.3 per cent and 18.3 per cent of the national vote in the February and October 1974 General Elections respectively, with the Scottish Nationalists receiving 30.4 per cent of the vote in Scotland and Plaid Cymru 10.8 per cent of the vote in Wales in October 1974. Although the talk was of multi-party politics, by 1979 the fortunes of the minor parties had declined again.


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Further reading

  1. Butler, D.E. and Jowett, P., party Strategies in Britain: A Study of the 1984 European Elections (London: Macmillan, 1985).Google Scholar
  2. Butler, D.E. and Kavanagh, D., The British General Election of 1992 (London: Macmillan, 1992).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Crewe, I., Gosschalk, B. and Bartle, J. (eds), Political Communications (London: Frank Cass, 1998).Google Scholar
  4. Franklin, M., The Decline of Class Voting in Britain (London: University Press, 1985).Google Scholar
  5. Goldthorpe, J.H., Social Mobility and Class Structure in Modern Britain (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1980).Google Scholar
  6. Heath, A. et al., Understanding Political Change: the British Voter 1964–1987 (Oxford: Pergamon Press, 1991).Google Scholar
  7. Heath, A. et al., How Britain Votes (Oxford: Pergamon Press, 1985).Google Scholar
  8. Himmelweit. H.T. et al., How Voters Decide (London: Academic Press, 1981).Google Scholar
  9. King, A. (ed.), New Labour Triumphs: Britain at the Polls (Chatham, NJ, USA: Chatham House, 1998).Google Scholar
  10. McCormack, U., Playing at Politics; First Time Voting in the 1997 UK General Election (Politeia, 1998).Google Scholar
  11. Miller. W.L. et al., How Voters Change (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1990).Google Scholar
  12. Norris, P. and Gavin, N.T. (eds), Britain Votes 1997 (Oxford: University Press, 1997).Google Scholar
  13. Robertson. D., Class and the British Electorate (Oxford: Martin Robertson, 1983).Google Scholar
  14. Rose. E. and McAlister, I., Voters Begin to Choose (London: Sage, 1986).Google Scholar
  15. Sarlvik. B. and Crewe, I., Decade of Dealignment (London: University Press, 1983).Google Scholar
  16. Scarborough, E., Political Ideology and Voting (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1984).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© F.N. Forman and N.D.J. Baldwin 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. N. Forman
  • N. D. J. Baldwin

There are no affiliations available

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