The anatomy of Liberal support in Britain, 1974-1997

Publication type

Journal Article


Publication date

June 1, 2002


This article uses data from the British Election Study series since 1974 and qualitative data from interviews with key party personnel to investigate the social and political basis of Liberal support in Britain. There are three main sections to the article: the first deals with the social and demographic profile of the Liberal vote, while the second examines the political characteristics of its supporters. In the final section these findings are used to assess the Liberal Democrats' electoral strategy at the 2001 General Election and beyond. We find that Liberals tend to be drawn from a similar social background to Conservative supporters (particularly in term of class), but politically there has been an increasingly close relationship between the Liberal Democrats and the Labour Party.

Published in

British Journal of Politics and International Relations

Volume and page numbers

Volume: 4 , p.49 -74




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