To what extent has Britain become a less politically committed society?

“Identifying with a political party is known to increase significantly the likelihood of voting for that party at election time … Traditionally party identification was rooted in social class … At the same time the Labour and Conservative parties took distinct positions on issues, mirroring their class-based support. As class self-identifications have changed and parties have reached out to non-core voters, we see a decline in partisanship and the power this once held when voting …

The proportion of people who identify with a particular political party has also declined over time. Over the past 30 years, we have asked people about this using a series of questions. [There is …] an overall decline in people saying they identified with a political party from around nine in ten people (87 per cent) in 1983 to under eight in ten (76 per cent) now. In 2012, one in five people (21 per cent) say they do not identify with any political party.”

This is an extract from a new study of social attitudes in Britain conducted by NatCen Social Research. You can access more information on the research here.


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