Policy Alienation, Social Alienation and Working-Class Abstention in Britain, 1964–2010

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This article presents an examination of class-based inequalities in turnout at British elections. These inequalities have substantially grown, and the class divide in participation has become greater than the class divide in vote choice between the two main parties. To account for class inequalities in turnout three main hypotheses – to do with policy indifference, policy alienation and social alienation – are tested. The results from the British context suggest that the social background of political representatives influences the ways in which voters participate in the political process, and that the decline in proportion of elected representatives from working-class backgrounds is strongly associated with the rise of working-class abstention.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1053-1073
Number of pages21
JournalBritish Journal of Political Science
Issue number4
Early online date22 Sept 2016
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018

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