Patterns of Political Competition

  • Jonathan WheatleyEmail author


In this chapter I identify the fundamental ideological dimensions that define political competition in Britain. I do this by analysing the opinions of voters on a wide range of issues from two data sources. The analysis shows that the main dimensions of political competition include an economic and a cultural dimension, as the literature predicts. The cultural dimension is similar to Hooghe et al.’s (2002) notion of TAN/GAL, but also incorporates issues of immigration and EU integration. Looking at the mean positions of the voters of all significant parties in Britain with respect to these dimensions, I find that the gap between party voters is just as great along the cultural dimension as it is on the economic dimension. I also find that the cultural dimension is even more dependent on social structure than the economic dimension, as it appears to be strongly predicated on education, age and geographical location.


Identifying dimensions Survey data Mapping party voters Mokken Scale Analysis 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Social SciencesOxford Brookes UniversityOxfordUK

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