Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

The British Conservative Party and Europe: The Choosing of John Major

  • PHILIP COWLEY (a1) and JOHN GARRY (a2)
    • Published online: 01 July 1998
Abstract

This article provides an empirical analysis of voting behaviour in the second ballot of the 1990 Conservative leadership contest that resulted in John Major becoming party leader and prime minister. Seven hypotheses of voting behaviour are generated from the extant literature relating voting to socio-economic variables (occupational and educational background), political variables (parliamentary experience, career status, age and electoral marginality) and ideological variables (drawn from survey data on MPs' positions on economic, European and moral issues). These hypotheses are tested using data on voting intentions gathered from published lists of MPs' declarations, interviews with each of the leadership campaign teams, and correspondence with MPs. Bivariate relationships are presented, followed by logistic regression analysis to isolate the unique impact that each variable had on voting. This shows that educational background, parliamentary experience and (especially) attitudes to Europe were the key factors determining voting. The importance of Europe in the contest is particularly instructive: the severe problems for Major's leadership which were caused by the issue can be attributed to, and understood in the context of, the 1990 contest in which he became leader.

Copyright
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

British Journal of Political Science
  • ISSN: 0007-1234
  • EISSN: 1469-2112
  • URL: /core/journals/british-journal-of-political-science
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 41 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 194 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 25th September 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.