This is a comprehensive study of the 2015 general election in Britain designed not only for students and scholars of British politics, but also for the interested reader. It looks at the record of the Coalition government both in terms of its plans and performance, particularly in relation to the economy, as the starting point for understanding what happened. The authors go on to examine the campaign during the run-up to polling day and to explain why people voted the way they did. They also take a close look at the various constituency battlegrounds across the country showing how and why voting patterns varied across Britain. Finally, they discuss the implications of the election outcome for the future of the party system and British politics more generally. This book provides important insights into an election which has permanently changed the political geography of Britain.
Harold Clarke is Ashbel Smith Professor, School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences, at the University of Texas at Dallas, USA.
Peter Kellner is President of YouGov plc, UK.
Joe Twyman is Head of Social and Political Research, YouGov plc, UK.
Marianne Stewart is Professor, School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences, at the University of Texas at Dallas, USA.
Paul Whiteley is Professor of Government at the University of Essex, UK.
1. Setting the Scene for 2015
2. The Political Economy of Austerity
3. Policy Performance and Political Payoffs
4. The 2015 Campaign
5. Choosing to Vote and Choosing a Party
6. Explaining the Outcome
7. Discontent and Change in Multi-Party Britain
'This is an enjoyable and illuminating book. The surprising 2015 election provides an engaging subject and Clarke, et al. offer a convincing storyline. The theme may be familiar - 'it's the economy, stupid' - but how they tell it is not. The authors rely on careful empirical analysis to make sense of what happened on Election Day and how it unfolded over time. Austerity and Political Choice in Britain is persuasive and also a pleasure to read, and I heartily recommend it.' - Christopher Wlezien, University of Texas at Austin, USA.
'How do you make sense of an election with more intriguing subplots than a Robert Altman movie and a surprise ending that no one predicted? Call Clarke, Kellner, Stewart, Twyman, and Whitely. These authors show that the thrilling political ups and downs of the run up to the 2015 British parliamentary elections can all be well-explained through a combination of classic political economy theories and the latest in modern social scientific research techniques. Despite the obvious technical prowess of this dream team of researchers, 'Austerity and Political Choice in Britain' is a pacey and accessible read that also manages to be comprehensive. It is a must-read volume for everyone from amateur news junkies to senior political strategists.' - Guy Whitten, Professor of Political Science and Director, European Union Center, Texas A & M University, USA.