Geographical scale, the attribution of credit/blame, local economic circumstances, and retrospective economic voting in Great Britain 1997

An extension of the model

Ron Johnston*, Charles Pattie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Economic voting models have received a great deal of empirical support in Great Britain over the last decade, sustaining the general argument that governments tend to be rewarded for delivering econmic prosperity but blamed for declining prosperity. Voters evaluate governments both at the national scale (the performance of the national economy) and at the individual or household scale (changes in their own perceived financial situation). Results of a cross-sectional study of the respondents to a survey conducted after the 1997 General Election are consistent with this argument. The case is developed, however, that additional variables should be added, representing: an intermediate spatial scale-perceived changes in the voters' local economy; the attribution of credit/blame-governments should only be rewarded (punished) if voters associate economic changes with government policies; the local context-the actual situation in the voters' milieux; and the electoral context-do voters' economic evaluations have a differential impact depending on whether they voted for the successful party at the previous election. Expansion of the basic economic voting model to incorporate all four of these provides improved insights to voter decisionmaking at the 1997 election.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)421-438
Number of pages18
JournalEnvironment and Planning C: Government and Policy
Volume20
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2002

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