The intimate social logic of electoral choice: the general elections of 1997 and 2001

Publication type

Conference Paper


American Political Science Association Annual Meeting, 1- 4 September 2005, Washington, DC


Publication date

June 1, 2005


Voting decisions like all other decisions derive from a social process, heavily influenced by the electoral choices of member’s of intimate social networks. Drawing on data from the British Household Panel Survey, we model voting behavior in the general elections of 1997 and 2001. Our results affirm the analytical importance of family members. Using a linear probability model with instrumental variables we show that mothers/wives are central to this process. They always influence their partners and children; husbands always influence their wives, and children influence their mothers but not their fathers. Combined with the person’s own partisan constancy, these variables account for a very large portion of the variance and indicate that national election outcomes respond to an intimate social process.





APSA search for more, after a Google alert. JCI 12/01/10



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