Victorian Voting: Party Orientation and Class Alignment Revisited

  • 17 Oct 2017

    17:00-18:00, Clay Room, Nuffield College

  • Political Science Seminars   Add to Calendar
Speaker: Janne Tukiainen

Visiting Associate Professor, London School of Economics and Political Science, Chief Researcher, VATT Institute for Economic Research.

This event is part of the Political Science Seminar Series and presents joint work with Torun Dewan and Jaakko Meriläinen.

Using individual elector level panel data from the 19th century UK poll books, we reassess the development of a party centred electorate in the United Kingdom.  In line with findings of Cox, we find that the British electorate was party centred by the time of the major late Victorian institutional reforms. Going further, we show that the decline in candidate centred voting is largely attributable to changes in the behaviour of the English working class.  The observed party orientation of the working classes is familiar: The working classes, at least those skilled enough to vote prior to 1868, aligned with the left.  Our analysis suggests that class alignment in British politics may have occurred much earlier than previously thought. 

The Political Science Seminar Series is convened by Geoff Evans, Elias Dinas and Sergi Pardos Prado. For more information on this or any of the seminars in the series, please contact