Locating the altruistic voter

Context, egocentric voting, and support for the Conservative Party at the 1997 General Election in England and Wales

Ron Johnston*, Danny Dorling, Helena Tunstall, David Rossiter, Iain MacAllister, Charles Pattie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Egocentric economic voting models are widely used in studies of voting behaviour in Great Britain: they suggest that people whose standard of living has risen recently as a perceived consequence of government policies are more likely to vote for the government's return to office than are those who blame government policies for a decline in their living standards. But many people whose living standards have increased vote against the government. Analyses reported here, using specially constructed bespoke neighbourhoods around the homes of respondents to the 1997 British Election Study, show that the latter group mainly live in areas of high local unemployment. This suggests a pattern of altruistic voting, of people who are prospering personally, but whose neighbours are not, voting against the incumbent government-a pattern confirmed by statistical analyses of both egocentric and sociotropic voting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)673-694
Number of pages22
JournalEnvironment and Planning A
Volume32
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2000

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