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Politics of Electoral Reform: The Case of the United Kingdom’s 2011 Referendum on the Alternative Vote

Akmehmet, Okan (2016) Politics of Electoral Reform: The Case of the United Kingdom’s 2011 Referendum on the Alternative Vote. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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Abstract

This thesis focuses on the politics of electoral reform. It examines dynamics operating at both the public and political elite levels. The first paper looks at the place of electoral reform in British politics, in particular the place of the Alternative Vote (AV), and demonstrates a positive relationship between disproportionality and interest in electoral reform. The second paper focuses on the tension between representative democracy and direct democracy and considers why the referendum became the pathway to decide on the issue. The third paper analyses the voting behaviour in the UK’s 2011 AV referendum and demonstrates that voters cast their votes based on cues and in harmony with the positions taken by the party leaders they trusted. Agreement with campaign statements was also indicative of an individual’s vote mediating the impact of partisanship. Direct contact by campaigns did not have much significant effect on a typical individual’s vote except for those individuals contacted by the Liberal Democrats. Contact by the Liberal Democrats, contrary to the expectations had an impact in the negative direction of the position endorsed by the Party.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN101 Great Britain
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
Depositing User: Okan Akmehmet
Date Deposited: 01 Jul 2016 11:45
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2016 11:45
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/17141

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