The impact of the scandal on the 2010 general election results

Charles Pattie, Ron Johnston

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


To what extent did public anger over the expenses scandal have any measureable impact on the 2010 election outcome? Our analysis shows that despite worrisome predictions, voters didn’t take the scandal as a reason to abandon electoral politics. At the constituency level, indignation over MPs’ expenses was a mild discouragement to participation, no more. Moreover, the decision to vote or not was influenced by the same factors as in previous elections: what people thought of the scandal had no independent influence once these well-established factors were taken into account. Voters were undoubtedly disturbed by the expenses scandal, but few MPs who stood for re-election had their prospects damaged by their involvement in the scandal. Given the parlous state of the economy, voters had bigger issues to worry about.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Political Costs of the 2009 British MPs' Expenses Scandal
EditorsJennifer Van Heerde-Hudson
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9781137034557
ISBN (Print)9781137034540
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


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