Voting Behavior In The United Kingdom

1528 words - 6 pages

Voting Behavior in the United Kingdom

When voting, people are usually going to vote for their own personal
well-being. Although voters may agree that there should be improved
services for everyone, when it comes to voting, it is likely they will
vote for what is best for them personally I.e. lower tax. This is
known as issue voting. E.g. whether a candidate will support a ban on
fox hunting. It is agreed that issues do have an effect on voting but
the significance of an issue in contributing to electoral swing
depends on three factors. First, how important the issue is to the
voters, second, which party is preferred and by how much and third how
these factors have changed since the last election. For a particular
issue to be influential in affecting the outcome of an election, one
party must have substantially greater support than the other parties
and the issues must be considered of great importance.

Many people remain loyal to one particular party throughout their
life. These could be people who are party members, people who have
grown up in a politically motivated family and have been influenced by
them, or people at work, influenced by their workmates. Traditionally
women voted conservative because they were not working and were not
involved with trade unions and workers issues, now more women are
working and so this point isn't as significant as it used to be.
Another reason people remain loyal to a party is because they feel
strongly about the parties philosophy's and believe they are closest
to their own personal beliefs and opinions.

Many voters identify themselves as supporters of a political party,
party identification is relatively stable and enduring. It influences
voters attitudes towards issues personalities and government
performance. By party identification, political scientists mean a
psychological attachment to a party rather than a rational choice
based on the party's aims, promises or practises. It has a lot to do
with a party's public image which is also a big deciding factor
amongst non partisan voters.

The media has a lot to do with a party's image, as it is the main and
often only way many people receive information about politics. The
media in Britain is free, and is not controlled by the government,
meaning broadcasters are able to decide the content of political
broadcasts. However guidelines issued by the IBA and BBC ensures
political balance and impartiality. A channel will normally present
balanced argument by using representatives of different political
parties or groups. How a party is perceived through the media is vital
for gaining public support. The national press often shows strong
party bias. Many people read newspapers and until recently many
actively supported the Conservative Party and urged readers to vote
Conservative. Tabloid...

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