The changing British voter
Time: 15:00 - 17:00
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: HPC84
Duration: 4 sessions (over 4 weeks)
What is the course about?
The outcome of the General Election of 2019 was unimaginable even a few months previously, with the Conservatives taking seats that were solidly Labour since their creation in the early twentieth century. What explains this change? Will it last? What does it mean for the other parties? We shall explore the changing way Britain has voted over the last seventy years and sketch how not just the British voter, but British society, has changed in a few generations.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
What is voting behaviour? What, if anything, determines it?
• 1950s to 1970s: the embedded worker
o part one: British society after WWII
o part two: the decline of class
• 1970s to 1990s: the ascendant consumer
o part one: a world in shock and the return of old cleavages
o part two: values, not value – the New Left and the New Right
• 1990s to 2010s: the fickle voter
o part one: triangulation, competence, and leadership
o part two: generational inequality and the rise of the precariat.
• After Brexit: the tribal loyalist.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
* Describe voting behaviour and how political scientists seek to explain it
• Understand how voting behaviour has changed since 1945
• Explain and assess sociological models
• Explain and assess rational choice models
• Explain and assess valence models
• Comprehend how Britain votes today and identify what is new.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This is an introductory course and no prior knowledge is required.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Each class is broken down into bite sized explorations of key topics, introduced by the tutor and followed by class discussion; in addition, the tutor introduces the session and sums up at the end to make sure you fully understand the important points. You will be provided with an introductory reading list, but this is designed to enhance your study and, while we encourage you to read up each week, you can follow, enjoy, and contribute to the discussion without doing so.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
No other costs. Please bring a pen and notebook to class if you wish to make notes.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Other courses in British history and politics. Please see the website.
Justin is Lecturer in Politics at Brasenose College, Oxford. He also teaches at the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford and the Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Cambridge. He is an Associate Lecturer at the Open University. He holds postgraduate degrees from Oxford, Cambridge, and London.
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.