‘I went with what I always do…’: a qualitative analysis of ‘Cleggmania’ and vote choice in the 2010 British General Election

Edzia Carvalho (Lead / Corresponding author), Kristi Winters

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Abstract

We use focus group transcripts from the innovative Qualitative Election Study of Britain dataset to provide insights into why ‘Cleggmania’ failed to translate into electoral success for the Liberal Democrats in 2010. Analyses conducted on participants’ vote choice stories indicate the effect of ‘Cleggmania’ was limited to strengthening the resolve of wavering Liberal Democrats. Long-time Labour and Conservative supporters who leaned Liberal Democrat before the election found their latent party identification made voting for a different party psychologically uncomfortable. Qualitative electoral research can advance our understanding of people’s voting calculus by analysing narratives for values, identity, utility maximizing, and constituency dynamics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)423-446
Number of pages24
JournalParliamentary Affairs
Volume68
Issue number2
Early online date12 Feb 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2015

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