Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-684bc48f8b-g7stk Total loading time: 1.573 Render date: 2021-04-14T06:39:49.629Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": false, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true }

‘We Don't Do God’? Religion and Party Choice in Britain

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 April 2014

Abstract

This article shows that religion has been consistently important in predicting voters’ party choices in Britain over time. The relationship between religion and party preference is not primarily due to the social make-up of different religious groups, nor to ideological differences between religious groups, whether in terms of social conservatism, economic leftism or national identity. Instead, particular denominations are associated with parties that represented those denominational groups in the early twentieth century when social cleavages were ‘frozen’ within the system. The main mechanism underpinning these divisions is parental transmission of party affiliations within denominations. These findings have important implications for how we understand both the persistence of social cleavages and the precise mechanisms that maintain social cleavages.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2014 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below.

Footnotes

*

Jesus College, University of Oxford (email: james.tilley@politics.ox.ac.uk). Online appendices are available at http://dx.doi.org/doi: 10.1017/S0007123414000052.

References

Bara, Judith. 2006. The 2005 Manifestos: A Sense of Déja Vu? Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties 16:265281.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Best, Robin. 2011. The Declining Electoral Relevance of Traditional Cleavage Groups. European Political Science Review 3 (2):279300.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Brooks, Clem Manza, Jeff. 1997. Social Cleavages and Political Alignments: US Presidential Elections, 1960–1992. American Sociological Review 62:937946.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Brooks, Clem Manza, Jeff. 2004. A Great Divide? Religion and Political Change in US National Elections, 1972–2000. Sociological Quarterly 45 (3):421450.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Brooks, Clem, Nieubeerta, Paul Manza, Jeff. 2006. Cleavage-Based Voting Behavior in Cross-National Perspective: Evidence from Six Postwar Democracies. Social Science Research 35 (1):88128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Budge, Ian. 1999. Party Policy and Ideology: Reversing the 1950s. Pp. 121 in Critical Elections edited by Geoffrey Evans and Pippa Norris. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
Butler, David Stokes, Donald. 1974. Political Change in Britain: The Evolution of Electoral Choice. London: Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Clarke, Harold, Sanders, David, Stewart, Marianne Whitely, Paul. 2004. Political Choice in Britain. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Clements, Ben. 2014. Religion and the Sources of Public Opposition to Abortion in Britain: The Role of ‘Belonging’, ‘Behaving’ and ‘Believing’. Sociology (forthcoming).Google Scholar
Dalton, Russell. 2008. Citizen Politics: Public Opinion and Political Parties in Advanced Industrial Democracies. Chatham, N.J.: Chatham House Publishers.Google Scholar
De Graaf, Nan Dirk, Heath, Anthony Need, Ariana. 2001. Declining Cleavages and Political Choices: The Interplay of Social and Political Factors in the Netherlands. Electoral Studies 20 (1):115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dogan, M. 2001. Class, Religion, Party: Triple Decline of Electoral Cleavages in Western Europe. Pp. 90110 in Party Systems and Voter Alignments Revisited, edited by L. Karvonen and S. Kuhnle. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
Dogan, M. 2004. From Social Class and Religious Identity to Status Incongruence in Post-Industrial Societies. Comparative Sociology 3:163197.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Elff, Martin. 2007. Social Structure and Electoral Behavior in Comparative Perspective: The Decline of Social Cleavages in Western Europe Revisited. Perspectives on Politics 5:277294.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Elff, Martin. 2009. Social Divisions, Party Positions, and Electoral Behaviour. Electoral Studies 28 (2):297308.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Evans, Geoffrey Heath, Anthony. 1995. The Measurement of Left–Right and Libertarian–Authoritarian Values: A Comparison of Balanced and Unbalanced Scales. Quality and Quantity 29 (2):191206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Evans, Geoffrey, Heath, Anthony Lalljee, Mansur. 1996. Measuring Left–Right and Libertarian–Authoritarian Values in the British Electorate. British Journal of Sociology 47 (1):93112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Evans, Geoffrey Tilley, James. 2012a. How Parties Shape Class Politics: Explaining the Decline of Class Party Support. British Journal of Political Science 42 (1):137161.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Evans, Geoffrey Tilley, James. 2012b. The Depoliticization of Inequality and Redistribution: Explaining the Decline of Class Voting. Journal of Politics 74 (4):963976.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Franklin, Mark. 1992. Electoral Change: Responses to Evolving Social and Attitudinal Structures in Western Countries. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Giurcanu, Magda, Wald, Kenneth. 2013. Religion and Voting in the United State, 1980–2008. Paper presented at conference on ‘Religiosity, Ideology and Voting’ in November, Florence, Italy.Google Scholar
Heath, Anthony, Evans, Geoffrey Martin, Jean. 1994. The Measurement of Core Beliefs and Values: The Development of Balanced Socialist/Laissez-Faire and Libertarian/Authoritarian Scales. British Journal of Political Science 24:115132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hayes, Bernadette. 1995. The Impact of Religious Identification on Political Attitudes: An International Comparison. Sociology of Religion 56 (2):177194.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jelen, Ted. 1993. The Political Consequences of Religious Group Attitudes. Journal of Politics 55:178190.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Katz, Richard, Richard Niemi and David Newman. 1980. Reconstructing Past Partisanship in Britain. British Journal of Political Science 10 (4):505515.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kleppner, Paul. 1979. The Third Electoral System, 1853–1892: Parties, Voters and Political Culture. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.Google Scholar
Knutsen, Oddbjorn. 2004. Religious Denomination and Party Choice in Western Europe: A Comparative Longitudinal Study from Eight Countries, 1970–97. International Political Science Review 25 (1):97128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kotler-Berkowitz, Laurence A. 2001. Religion and Voting Behaviour in Great Britain: A Reassessment. British Journal of Political Science 31 (3):523554.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lipset, Seymour Martin Rokkan, Stein. eds. 1967 Party Systems and Voter Alignments: Cross National Perspectives. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
Lijphart, Arend. 1975. The Politics of Accommodation: Pluralism and Democracy in the Netherlands. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
Lijphart, Arend. 1979. Religious vs. Linguistic vs. Class Voting: The ‘Crucial Experiment’ of Comparing Belgium, Canada, South Africa, and Switzerland. American Political Science Review 73 (2):442458.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lorwin, V.R. 1971. Segmented Pluralism: Ideological Cleavages and Political Cohesion in the Smaller European Democracies. Comparative Politics 3 (2):141175.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Madeley, John. 1982. Politics and the Pulpit: The Case of Protestant Europe. West European Politics 5 (2):149171.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Manza, Jeff Wright, Nathan. 2003. Religion and Political Behaviour. Pp. 297314 in Handbook of the Sociology of Religion, edited by Michele Dillon. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Norris, Pippa Inglehart, Ronald. 2004. Sacred and Secular: Religion and Politics Worldwide. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Raymond, Christopher. 2011. The Continued Salience of Religious Voting in the United States, Germany, and Great Britain. Electoral Studies 30 (1):125135.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rose, Richard. 1974. Britain: Simple Abstractions and Complex Realities. Pp. 481541 in Electoral Behavior, edited by Richard Rose. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
Rose, Richard McAllister, Ian. 1986. Voters Begin to Choose. London: Sage.Google Scholar
Rose, Richard Urwin, Derek. 1969. Social Cohesion, Political Parties and Strains in Regimes. Comparative Political Studies 2 (1):767.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rose, Richard Urwin, Derek. 1970. Persistence and Change in Western Party Systems. Political Studies 18 (3):287319.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Russell, Andrew, Johnston, Ron Pattie, Charles. 1992. Thatcher's Children: Exploring the Links between Age and Political Attitudes. Political Studies 40:742756.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Scheepers, Peer van der Slik, Frans. 1998. Religion and Attitudes on Moral Issues: Effects of Individual, Spiouse and Parental Characteristics. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 37 (4):678691.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Seawright, David. 2000. A Confessional Cleavage Resurrected? The Denominational Vote in Britain. Pp 4460 in Religion and Mass Electoral Behaviour in Europe, edited by David Broughton and Hans-Martien ten Napel. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
Seawright, David Curtice, John. 1995. The Decline of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party 1950–92: Religion, Ideology or Economics? Contemporary Record 9 (2):319342.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Smidt, Corwin, den Dulk, Kevin, Froehle, Bryan, Penning, James, Monsma, Stephen Koopman, Douglas. 2010. The Disappearing God Gap? Religion in the 2008 Presidential Election. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Stanley, Harold Niemi, Richard. 1991. Partisanship and Group Support, 1952–1988. American Politics Research 19 (2):189210.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Stegmueller, Daniel, Scheepers, Peer, Robteutscher, Sigrid de Jong, Eelke. 2012. Support for Redistribution in Western Europe: Assessing the Role of Religion. European Sociological Review 28 (4):482497.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sturgis, Patrick. 2002. Attitudes and Measurement Error Revisited: A Reply to Johnston and Pattie. British Journal of Political Science 32 (4):691696.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tilley, James. 2002. Political Generations and Partisanship in the UK, 1964–1997. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series A (Statistics in Society) 165:121135.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tilley, James. 2003. Secularisation and Ageing in Britain: Does Family Formation Cause Greater Religiosity? Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 42 (2):269278.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tilley, James Evans, Geoff. 2014. Ageing and Generational Effects on Vote Choice: Combining Cross-Sectional and Panel Data to Estimate APC Effects. Electoral Studies 33 (1):1927.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Voas, David Crockett, Alasdair. 2005. Religion in Britain: Neither Believing nor Belonging. Sociology 39 (1):1128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wald, Kenneth. 1983. Crosses on the Ballot: Patterns of British Voter Alignment since 1885. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wallis, R. Bruce, S.. 1992. Secularization Theory: The Orthodox Model. Pp. 3549 in Religion and Modernization: Sociologists and Historians Debate the Secularization Thesis, edited by Steve Bruce. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
Woodrum, Eric. 1988. Determinants of Moral Attitudes. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 27:553573.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wuthnow, Robert. 1988. The Restructuring of American Religion. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar

Tilley Supplementary Material

Appendices

File 64 KB

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Full text views reflects PDF downloads, PDFs sent to Google Drive, Dropbox and Kindle and HTML full text views.

Total number of HTML views: 312
Total number of PDF views: 1590 *
View data table for this chart

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 14th April 2021. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Send article to Kindle

To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

‘We Don't Do God’? Religion and Party Choice in Britain
Available formats
×

Send article to Dropbox

To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

‘We Don't Do God’? Religion and Party Choice in Britain
Available formats
×

Send article to Google Drive

To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

‘We Don't Do God’? Religion and Party Choice in Britain
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response


Your details


Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *