It's the economy, stupid - But which economy? Geographical scales, retrospective economic evaluations and voting at the 1997 British general election

R. J. Johnston*, C. J. Pattie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

It's the economy, stupid - but which economy? Geographical scales, retrospective economic evaluations and voting at the 1997 British General Election, Reg. Studies 35, 309-319. Virtually all studies of retrospective economic voting in the UK look at two sets of economic evaluations only, relating to respondents' perceptions of the national economic situation and their own households' financial position. We argue that a further scale should be added to these models, involving evaluations of each respondent's local area's prosperity - because economic development is spatially uneven. Using data from the 1997 British Election Study, we assess this case and find not only that evaluations of local area prosperity are significantly related to vote but also that, when these are included in the models, evaluations of the national economic situation are largely insignificant - especially when prior vote is held constant. British voters decided whether to reward or punish the incumbent Conservative government in 1997 on the basis of their local and personal situations, much more than their evaluation of the state of the national economy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-319
Number of pages11
JournalRegional Studies
Volume35
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2001

Keywords

  • Economic voting
  • Great Britain
  • Retrospective evaluations
  • Scale

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