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To what extent does sociological evidence and arguments support the claim that there has been a realignment of voting behaviour in Britain For there to have been a realignment of voting behaviour in Britain there must first have been a dealignment According to Butler and Stokes there was a predictable pattern of voting up until the 1970s which was characterised by strong partisan alignment and the fact that Britain was a two party system Partisan alignment is linked to class alignment The majority of the electorate identified with one party typically working class with Labour and middle class with Conservative Because there were two main classes then it was inevitable that there would be two dominant parties which represent them This rigid alliance with either one party or the other depending on your class was supported by Crewe He found that in the 1964 election 62 of non-manual workers voted Conservative while 64 of manual workers voted Labour This shows that there was not much dealignment in voting behaviour before the 1970s From 1974 onwards there were changes in the pattern of voting The influence of class on voting behaviour seemed to be declining there was a rise in the amount of deviant voters Britain changed from a two party to a three party system and the Labour party appeared to be declining These changes all lead to the assumption that dealignment was taking place Crewe and Sarlvik said that there was a decline in partisan voting which in turn led to a decline in class based voting They said that this was due to the class system becoming blurred There were fewer working class people with manual jobs and more with mortgages there were also fewer middle class people with non-manual jobs and more of them who were unionised Because of these changes to the class system more people were becoming deviant voters Working class homeowners were becoming more likely to vote
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