Voter behaviour

Ben Spies-Butcher*

*Corresponding author for this work

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


This chapter is the one most strongly underpinned by the behavioural approach outlined in Chapter 3. It examines existing models for understanding why Australians vote the way they do and evaluates whether new models explain an increase in voter support for minor parties and a diminishing of strong identification with the major parties. The research is largely based on sample surveys of individuals, and the Australian findings are related to general models of voter behaviour developed internationally. These findings and models can usefully be measured against the expectations of voter behaviour contained in rival theories of democracy (Chapter 1). To the extent that the findings and models suggest voting is related to class, gender and other socio-economic identities, they also contribute to an understanding of the critical theories outlined in Chapter 4. Given that the newer models of voting suggest a breaking down of sociological explanations, the connections with post-structuralism are also clear (see Chapter 5).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationContemporary politics in Australia
Subtitle of host publicationtheories, practices and issues
EditorsRodney Smith, Ariadne Vromen, Ian Cook
Place of PublicationPort Melbourne, Vic
PublisherCambridge University Press (CUP)
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)978113922726
ISBN (Print)9780521137539
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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