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Participation and voting behaviour

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by

Natalie Thompson

on 26 April 2014

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Transcript of Participation and voting behaviour

Participation and voting behaviour
The media and elections
The media can be divided into three broad categories:print media (ie the press); broadcast media (i.e television and radio); and new media (e.g. the internet). Of these three forms, it is the activities of the press, specifically newspapers, which get the most attention at election time. Some argue that
opinion polls
published in the press during campaigns serve to shape, as opposed to simply reflecting, public opinion. Moreover, newspapers are not legally required to remain impartial and most, if not all, take up clear party positions during election campaigns.
The Sun
was particularly vocal in support of the Conservatives in the 1992 election, coming up with such memorable headlines as "Will the last person to leave Britain please turn out the light" when a Labour victory appeared likely. Both Neil Kinnock (the then Labour leader) and Norman Tebbit ( a former leading Conservative) believed that the tabloid press were crucial in bringing about a surprise Conservative victory in that year.

Source adapted from: Fairclough, P (2006), AS & A-Level Government and Politics, Oxford University Press
Key words?
Explain the term "opinion polls" as used in the extract.
Clear definition
Short answer
Example
Key terms "bandwagon effect" "boomerang effect"
Using your own knowledge as well as the extract, examine two or more ways in which the media can affect electoral campaigns.
Two or more areas- probably stick to just two seeing as you only have 10 minutes to answer this question.
Examples for all.
Influence key terms, "selective exposure", "selective perception", "selective retention"- mention at the end to suggest we do not just take in everything the media tells us.
"Long-term influences on voting behaviour such as social class no longer play a significant role in determining the outcome of UK elections" Assess the accuracy of this view.
Clear argument: be objective and make sure your answer always goes back to the question.
Show the link between social class and voting as a starting point.
Show the role of other long-term influences (what are these?)
This question is asking are long term factors still significant? (Compare these to short term.)
Use of political vocabulary e.g. class alignment/dealignment, gender gap.
Examples.
Class: originally working class vote Labour,
middle class vote Conservatives. - class alignment. Post war period.
Reduction in traditional working class after this period- reduction in workers in the heavy, labour industries e.g. coal- started class dealignment "new working class" people began to feel more middle class.
1997- saw AB voters vote for New Labour.


Gender: Women originally voted Conservatives- family values & law and order
Men voted unionised.
Blair and New Labour- reached out to women e.g. creation of the minister for women "Blair's babes" - Harriet Harman.
Ethnicity: Originally voted Labour - changing
e.g recent YouGov survey.

Other long-term factors are age and region.
Short-term factors
Leaders e.g. opinion poll with David Cameron winning out over Gordon Brown.
Issues e.g. stance on EU membership- pro-EU Lib Dem. Anti-EU- UKIP.
Conclusion:
Are long term factors still significant?
Full transcript