For the purpose of this essay, I will be evaluating the factors that influenced the result of the 2010 UK general election. The general election was held on Thursday 6th May 2010 and was the first election since 1974 to result in a hung parliament, as no party achieved the 326 seats needed to for an overall majority.
The three main parties were the Conservatives, whose party leader was and still is David Cameron, Labour, whose party leader was Gordon Brown and the Liberal Democrats, whose party leader was and still is Nick Clegg. The party with the highest share of seats were the Conservatives, who achieved 307 seats out of a possible 650. The party with …show more content…
This would therefore suggest that although the two main parties have lost a huge share of its core voters over time, the Liberal Democrats and other smaller political parties have gained voters who identify themselves to have partisan attachments - perhaps the core voters the Conservatives and Labour have lost. The evidence would therefore suggest that partisanship still plays an important role in determining voting behaviour but is now a much weaker factor than it once was.
Although social class and party identification are arguably the two most important long term factors which affected the 2010 general election and previous elections, there are many other long term factors to take into account when determining what affects voting behaviour, such as family, which can be a huge influence on an individual’s ideologies and beliefs, especially if they are an undecided voter. Research by Stamp (2010) reveals that in the past people used to just toe the family line, and if they were to stray from this it was almost seen as betrayal, but just as with social class and partisanship, this long term factor no longer seems to apply to the same degree as it once did. One in four adults still base their political judgements on discussions they have with their family or friends, and for the age group 18-24 these statistics are even higher, with one in three basing their political judgements on family influence. Under 24s are