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An Analysis of the Electoral Use of Policy on Law and Order by New Labour

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  • Stephen Drinkwater

    ()
    (Wales Institute of Social and Economic, Research, Data and Methods, Swansea University)

  • Colin Jennings

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Strathclyde)

Abstract

There has been much debate regarding the electoral strategy adopted by New Labour in the lead-up to and then during their time in government. This paper addresses the issue from the perspective of left/right and libertarian/authoritarian considerations by examining data on individual attitudes from the British Social Attitudes survey between 1986 and 2009. The analysis indicates that New Labour's move towards the right on economic and public policy was the main driver towards attracting new centrist voters and could thus be labelled 'broadly' populist. The move towards a tougher stance on law and order was more 'narrowly' populist in that it was used more to minimise the reduction in support from Labour's traditional base on the left than to attract new votes.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Strathclyde Business School, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1208.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2012
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published
Handle: RePEc:str:wpaper:1208

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Keywords: New Labour; electoral strategy; law and order;

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  1. Geoffrey Brennan & Alan Hamlin, 1998. "Expressive voting and electoral equilibrium," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 95(1), pages 149-175, April.
  2. Alan Hamlin & Colin Jennings, 2009. "Expressive Political Behaviour: Foundations, Scope and Implications," Working Papers 0918, University of Strathclyde Business School, Department of Economics.
  3. Robert Ford & Matthew J. Goodwin, 2010. "Angry White Men: Individual and Contextual Predictors of Support for the British National Party," Political Studies, Political Studies Association, vol. 58, pages 1-25, 02.
  4. Peter Calcagno & Christopher Westley, 2008. "An institutional analysis of voter turnout: the role of primary type and the expressive and instrumental voting hypotheses," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 94-110, June.
  5. Geoffrey Brennan, 2008. "Crime and punishment: an expressive voting view," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 26(3), pages 237-252, December.
  6. Greene, Kenneth V & Nelson, Phillip J, 2002. " If Extremists Vote How Do They Express Themselves? An Empirical Test of an Expressive Theory of Voting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 113(3-4), pages 425-36, December.
  7. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135.
  8. Jane Green, 2007. "When Voters and Parties Agree: Valence Issues and Party Competition," Political Studies, Political Studies Association, vol. 55, pages 629-655, October.
  9. David Sanders & Malcolm Brynin, 1999. "The Dynamics of Party Preference Change in Britain, 1991-1996," Political Studies, Political Studies Association, vol. 47(2), pages 219-239, 06.
  10. Stephen Drinkwater & Colin Jennings, 2007. "Who are the expressive voters?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 132(1), pages 179-189, July.
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