The electoral geography of recession: Local economic conditions, public perceptions and the economic vote in the 1992 British general election

Charles Pattie, Daniel Dorling, Ron Johnston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Recent debates in the analysis of electoral behaviour indicate the importance of local economic conditions in accounting for the geography of the vote. Where local economies are strong and strengthening, support for the government is high; where local economies are weak, government support is low. However, research has been hampered by a lack of appropriate data on local economic conditions. In this paper, some newly available estimates of local economic conditions and of voters' perceptions of their regional economies are employed to provide insights into how local economic context affected voter choice at the 1992 British general election. A three-stage analysis reveals the importance of voters' evaluations of their regional economy: these evaluations were not reducible to voters' evaluations of the national economy or of their own domestic situations; they were shaped by economic conditions in particular places. But distinct regional variations in British voting persist, even when we control for local economic conditions. The housing slump stood out as an important factor in influencing voters' perceptions, although voters experiencing mortgage difficulties in 1992 did not appear to change their vote as a result. Labour gained support in seats which were badly affected by negative equity. key words Britain electoral geography logistic regression regional economies government support economic evaluations

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-161
Number of pages15
JournalTransactions of the Institute of British Geographers
Volume22
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1997

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