The Grey Vote: Determinants of Older Voters' Party Choice in Britain and West Germany
Electoral Studies, 2008
49 Pages Posted: 20 Dec 2007
To what extent do older people vote differently from younger people? This article tests two generational and two life-cycle hypotheses with British and West German data. Firstly, older voters belong to a political generation whose party preferences are shaped by the party fortunes experienced in early elections. The more de-aligned the party system, however, the less strong and clear generational differences seem to become. Secondly, New Politics parties are less favoured among older generations. Thirdly, there is no evidence that ageing voters prefer to cast their ballots for economically more conservative parties. Finally, in more proportional electoral systems, older people seem to have a preference for larger parties that can leave repeated impressions on them as they age.
Keywords: older voters, grey vote, political generations, conservatism, Britain, Germany
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