Skip navigation
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Full metadata record
DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.advisorDancygier, Rafaela
dc.contributor.authorHorne, Will
dc.contributor.otherPolitics Department
dc.description.abstractWorking-class candidates have largely disappeared from the Labour Party in recent years, going from over a quarter of Labour Party candidates in the 1980s to slightly over 5% of candidates by 2005. This transformation has taken place during, and been linked to, declining working-class political participation and a break in the electoral link between the working-class and center-left parties. I show that the Labour Party limited the emergence of working-class candidates. In certain cases, this led to backlash and cost Labour electorally. Why would the Labour Party take these risks? I argue that the debate about whether center-left parties should return to their social democratic roots or instead stress their commitments to cosmopolitanism and diversity misses a major reason for the working-class's aversion towards these parties. While voters care about policy, they also care about the type of politicians that represent them. Voters like politicians who look like them, sound like them, and share life experiences with them. For the working-class, these politicians have disappeared. Scholars have struggled to understand the lack of working-class representation. Experimental evidence suggests that voters are very willing to vote for working-class candidates and supply-side arguments based on the increasing cost of running for office the US are unlikely to apply to the UK. I show that parties face tradeoffs in running working-class candidates, as these candidates attract more support from voters who identify as working-class, but also perform significantly worse with voters from more affluent backgrounds. Finally, I show that working-class candidates are, in fact, distinctive from other types of candidates in the campaigns they run. Voters are right to think these candidates are different. This contributes to an emerging literature on how politicians class backgrounds contribute to their actions on the campaign trail and in office and pushes back on claims that these types of politicians are not distinctive.
dc.publisherPrinceton, NJ : Princeton University
dc.relation.isformatofThe Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog: <a href=></a>
dc.subject.classificationPolitical science
dc.titleClass Dismissed: The Labour Party and the Decline of Working-Class Representation
dc.typeAcademic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Appears in Collections:Politics

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
Horne_princeton_0181D_14114.pdf11.27 MBAdobe PDFView/Download

Items in Dataspace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.