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Policy Representation, Social Representation and Class Voting in Britain

  • Oliver Heath
Abstract

Why does the strength of class voting vary over time? Recent research has emphasized factors related to the structure of political choice at the party level. This article examines different aspects of this choice, and investigates whether voters are more likely to respond to the social or policy cues that parties send voters. The results from the British context suggest that the former are more important than the latter. The central implication of this finding is that social representation matters, and that the social background of political representatives influences how voters relate to political parties.

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Department of Politics and International Relations, Royal Holloway, University of London (email: Oliver.Heath@rhul.ac.uk). I would like to thank Heinrich Best, Rosie Campbell, Byron Criddle, Geoffrey Evans, Stefan Jahr, Pippa Norris, the editor and the reviewers for their help, comments and constructive feedback. Online appendices are available at http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1017/S0007123413000318.

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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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