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Research Paper ESRC Research Methods Programme Working Papers 4

Party support and the neighbourhood effect: spatial polarisation of the British electorate 1991-2001


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Most studies of the neighbourhood effect on voting behaviour have to rely on ecological data, usually at inappropriate scales for the assumed processes being investigated. Analyses of party support over an eleven-year period in Great Britain are reported using census data on ‘bespoke neighbourhoods’ - small areas centred on respondents’ homes - integrated with survey data. These show not only that patterns
consistent with neighbourhood effects were present throughout the 19909s but also that their intensity varied according to the political situation, that neighbourhood effects were among the strongest influences on part choice, and that there were substantial differences between groups defined on their individual characteristics according to the type of neighbourhood lived in.



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