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Electoral Change Since 1945

ISBN: 978-0-631-16716-7
288 pages
January 1997, Wiley-Blackwell
Electoral Change Since 1945 (0631167161) cover image
This book explores the nature of electoral change in Britain during the last half century. The period from 1945-70 was the classic era of two-party dominance at every level of British politics: at Westminster, county hall, and in the electorate. Since the early seventies Conservative and Labour hegemony has remained virtually unaltered in Parliament, but their grip has been loosened in local government, and the popular foundations of the two-party system have been eroded among voters.

Why has Britain evolved from a dominant to a declining two-party system during the last fifty years? This study considers alternative explanations for these developments, focusing on changes in voters, parties, and political communications.

The book provides students with a fresh and accessible perspective on theories of electoral change, placing developments in Britain within their broader comparative context, and challenging many conventional assumptions about trends in voting behaviour.

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List of Tables and Figures.

Preface.

Part I: The Nature of Electoral Change: .

1. Electoral Change 1945-1970.

2. Electoral Change 1970-1992.

3. The British Party System.

4. Explaining Electoral Change.

Part II: Changes in the Electorate: .

5. Theories of Change in the Electorate.

6. The Partisan Identity of Voters.

7. The Social Identity of Voters.

Part III: Changes in the Party System:.

8. Party Competition, Issues and Images.

9. Party Leadership and Representatives.

10. Party Campaign Organizations.

Part IV: Changes in the Electoral Context: .

11. Changes in Political Communications.

12. The Effects of the Media.

13. The Electoral System and Reform.

Further Reading.

Index.
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Pippa Norris is Associate Director (Research) of the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University and Professor of Politics at the University of East Anglia.
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* Covers topic of key concern in run-up to forthcoming British elections.
* Explores nature of electoral change in post-war Britain, within a comparative context.
* Examines in particular, the erosion of two-party system since 1970.
* Draws on new research into all aspects of electoral change: voters, parties, and political communications.
* Covers topic of key concern in run-up to forthcoming British elections.
* Explores nature of electoral change in post-war Britain, within a comparative context.
* Examines in particular, the erosion of two-party system since 1970.
* Draws on new research into all aspects of electoral change: voters, parties, and political communications.
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"It is certain to be a serious rival to established texts in the field." EPOP Newsletter, January 1997


"Norris's book is an admirable survey of the scholarly literature on elections since 1945. It is crammed with valuable statistics and global comparisons, but it is not disfigured by the jargon which apparently lends most psephologists their sense of professional dignity. As such, like most of the volumes in this series, its style and content are ideal for undergraduate students and for the general reader." Mark Garnett

"The book is based on massive research ... which enabels her to compare changes in Britain's electoral culture with a variety of countries." Talking Politics

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