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The New Politics of ClassThe Political Exclusion of the British Working Class$
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Geoffrey Evans and James Tilley

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198755753

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198755753.001.0001

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Class Politics Is Dead

Class Politics Is Dead

(p.145) 7 Class Politics Is Dead
The New Politics of Class

Geoffrey Evans

James Tilley

Oxford University Press

Chapter 7 shows the first consequence of changes in the signals sent by the parties to voters. This chapter demonstrates how the connection between class and party choice was static for most of the post-war period, until it suddenly and dramatically weakened in the 1990s. This timing indicates that the decline of class voting resulted not from gradual social changes but from the convergence between the main parties on both policy and image. The chapter also directly shows that because of party change, class-based values no longer predict vote choices with anywhere near the same strength as before. Equally, as perceptions of the parties as class parties disappeared, people are no longer able to match themselves to a party on the basis of group identity. The combination of these two factors accounts for all the change in class voting since the war.

Keywords:   social class, working class, middle class, economic left–right, British politics, class voting, class parties, Labour, Conservatives, Liberals

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