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

Author

Listed:
  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephen Drinkwater & Colin Jennings, 2012. "An Analysis of the Electoral Use of Policy on Law and Order by New Labour," Working Papers 1208, University of Strathclyde Business School, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:str:wpaper:1208
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Geoffrey Brennan & Alan Hamlin, 1998. "Expressive voting and electoral equilibrium," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 95(1), pages 149-175, April.
    2. 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 425-436, December.
    3. Stephen Drinkwater & Colin Jennings, 2007. "Who are the expressive voters?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 132(1), pages 179-189, July.
    4. Hamlin, Alan & Jennings, Colin, 2011. "Expressive Political Behaviour: Foundations, Scope and Implications," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 41(03), pages 645-670, July.
    5. 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.
    6. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135-135.
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    8. 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, February.
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    10. Heath, Anthony & Evans, Geoffrey & Martin, Jean, 1994. "The Measurement of Core Beliefs and Values: The Development of Balanced Socialist/Laissez Faire and Libertarian/Authoritarian Scales," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 24(01), pages 115-132, January.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    New Labour; electoral strategy; law and order;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • K00 - Law and Economics - - General - - - General (including Data Sources and Description)
    • Z18 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Public Policy

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