Affluence, Austerity and Electoral Change in Britain investigates the political economy of party support for British political parties since Tony Blair led New Labour to power in 1997. Using valence politics models of electoral choice and marshalling an unprecedented wealth of survey data collected in the British Election Study's monthly Continuous Monitoring Surveys, the authors trace forces affecting support for New Labour during its thirteen years in office. They then study how the recessionary economy has influenced the dynamics of party support since the Conservative-Liberal Democrat Coalition came to power in May 2010 and factors that shaped voting in Britain's May 2011 national referendum on changing the electoral system. Placing Britain in comparative perspective with cross-national survey data gathered in the midst of the worst recession since the 1930s, the authors investigate how the economic crisis has affected support for incumbent governments and democratic politics in over twenty European countries.
Paul Whiteley is Professor of Government at the University of Essex. Harold D. Clarke is Ashbel Smith Professor in the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences at the University of Texas, Dallas and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Government at the University of Essex. David Sanders is Professor of Government at the University of Essex. Marianne C. Stewart is Professor in the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences at the University of Texas, Dallas.
1. The politics of affluence and austerity; 2. Tony's politics: prosperity and performance; 3. Gordon's politics: economic crisis and political change; 4. 'I agree with Nick': campaigning for change in 2010; 5. Making political choices: 2010; 6. Bearish Britain: the Coalition in power; 7. Choosing how to choose: the AV ballot referendum; 8. Performance politics and subjective well-being; 9. Valence politics, austerity policies and electoral prospects; Appendix A. Structure of the 2010 British Election Study; Appendix B. Measurement.