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The Moving Centre: Preferences for Government Activity in Britain, 1950–2005

Abstract

The political ‘centre’ is often discussed in debates about public policy and analyses of party strategies and election outcomes. Yet, to date, there has been little effort to estimate the political centre outside the United States. This article outlines a method of estimating the political centre using public opinion data collected for the period between 1950 and 2005. It is demonstrated that it is possible to measure the centre in Britain, that it moves over time, that it shifts in response to government activity and, furthermore, that it has an observable association with general election outcomes.

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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Anthony McGann , The Logic of Democracy: Reconciling equality, Deliberation and Minority Protection (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2006)

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James Stimson , Tides of Consent: How Public Opinion Shapes American Politics. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004)

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James A. Stimson , ‘The Micro Foundations of Mood’, in James H. Kuklinski, ed., Thinking about Political Psychology (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), pp. 253280

Ian Budge , ‘Identifying Dimensions and Locating Parties: Methodological and Conceptual Problems’, in Richard S. Katz and William Crotty, eds, Handbook of Party Politics (London: Sage, 2006), pp. 422434

Anthony Forster , Euroscepticism in Contemporary British Politics (London: Routledge, 2002)

Paul M. Kellstedt , The Mass Media and the Dynamics of American Racial Attitudes (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003)

Frank R. Baumgartner , Suzanna L. De Boef and Amber E. Boydstun , The Decline of the Death Penalty and the Discovery of Innocence (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008)

Geoffrey Evans , ‘Europe: A New Cleavage?’ in Geoffrey Evans and Pippa Norris, eds, Critical Elections: British Parties and Voters in Long-term Perspective (London: Sage, 1999), pp. 207222

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British Journal of Political Science
  • ISSN: 0007-1234
  • EISSN: 1469-2112
  • URL: /core/journals/british-journal-of-political-science
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