Factors Influencing Voting Behavior

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Why do voters behave they way they do?

Voting behaviour is a form of political behaviour and has been examined and analysed by all parties in order to try and win elections. In order to examine voting behaviour close enough to answer the question in hand I am going to split it down into two questions. Why affects voting choice? And why do people not vote at all i.e. why is voting turn out down? For both questions I will consider arguments for several different factors. Ultimately I believe people voting choice is affected by education and media and I argue turn out is down because of a lack of trust in voting systems leading to a general disengagement with politics. This latter argument is the biggest factor affecting voting behaviour.
Overall
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Why and how do people chose to vote who they vote for? These factors can be divided into long and short term. In the long term Scholzman argued that general participation and specifically voting can be broken down into four groups of factors: Resources, recruitment, orientations and contextual clues. He argued that resources can be split into time and education. People who don’t work full time e.g students and young retirees have more time for participation and specifically for voting which in the UK is always on a Thursday, a work day. Furthermore if people don’t have time to educate themselves in manifestos and party policy and therefore have the time to be interested and make an informed decision on who to vote for then they are less likely to vote as arguably if you’re not interested in something you won’t do it. Moreover a good education of the political system and parties of a country leads to better decision making and understanding. This then fosters one self- confidence to participate politically and vote as an individual can make a well informed decision and rely on their own opinion. Education fuels interest and without those there would be next to no participation or voting as people wouldn’t care. Another long term factor group is orientation. This can split into socio-economic status, geographical location and age. Historically Labour was the working class party and Conservatives was for the wealthy …show more content…
In a world where politicians every word and every move are televised and recorded spin has become more common. 24 hour news puts huge pressure on politicians, especially for party leaders and keeping up a good image is crucial in an election run up when trying to win the undecided voters. Arguably some newspapers favour some parties so who you vote for can be affected by who you read e.g the Daily Record favours Labour. Facebook, blogs and youtube can all also influence voting behaviour. Single issues can also affect voting behaviour. There has been a move towards the green party in recent years as they are the only party to have environment high on their agenda but many people don’t necessarily know/care about all of their policies e.g. abolishing the army. This rings true with all parties. Many people won’t vote for Conservative as they are viewed as the party of austerity however you may agree with all other Conservative policies. Overall in the short term I argue that voting behaviour is most affected by party image because it is inevitably the first thing that people look at when looking at parties therefore it is easy to make an image based

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