Party support and the neighbourhood effect: spatial polarisation of the British electorate 1991-2001
Most studies of the neighbourhood effect and voting behaviour have to rely on ecological data, usually at inappropriate scales for the assumed processes being investigated. Analyses of party support over an 11-year period in Great Britain are reported using census data on ‘bespoke neighbourhoods’—small areas centred on survey respondents’ homes—integrated with individual level data. These show not only that patterns consistent with neighbourhood effects were present throughout the 1990s but also that their intensity varied according to the political situation, that neighbourhood effects were among the strongest influences on party choice, and that there were substantial differences between groups defined by their individual characteristics according to the type of neighbourhood lived in.
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