What determines the loyalties of voters? The factors identified by social scientists range from a last-minute television appeal by a politician to the social class of the voter's parents. But which of the many influences are most important electorally? "Loyalties of Voters" offers an answer based on an analysis of three decades of electoral behaviour. A sophisticated lifetime learning model is developed. Family loyalties absorbed as a child, adult socio-economic interests and enduring political values cumulate to shape the voter's judgement of the government of the day, the party leaders of the moment. Marshalling evidence from British elections from 1964 to the present, Rose and McAllister determine the critical steps in a lifetime of learning. They tabulate the influence (or lack of influence) of each potentially formative factor. The book illuminates the transition from the regular two-party pendulum of the 1960s: for the left and centre, the need to meld voters with differing values about the economy, the environment and international affairs into a winning coalition; for the right, what happens when Margaret Thatcher steps down.
`...an ambitious, constructive, and praiseworthy contribution to British electoral sociology. The book is clearly written, and analyses are thoroughly executed...this is an exemplary study of the current state of the art in the analysis of British electoral behaviour. The authors are judicious in their treatment of their data, comprehensive in their use of existing literature, and clear in their analyses and conclusions. Rose and McAllister have given us an admirable and important study' - Sociology
`Recommended for upper-division undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty. - Choice
`It poses important questions in a stimulating, well-written style.' - Contemporary Sociology
`...this is a valuable contribution to the voting literature. The breadth and depth of analysis are presented succinctly, intelligently, and persuasively' - Political Science