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The decline in diffuse support for national politics: the long view on political discontent in Britain

The decline in diffuse support for national politics: the long view on political discontent in Britain
The decline in diffuse support for national politics: the long view on political discontent in Britain
This research note considers how to track long-term trajectories of political discontent in Britain. Many accounts are either confined to using survey data drawn from recent decades or imperfect behavioural measures such as voting or party membership as indicators of political disengagement. We instead develop an approach that provides the long view on political disaffection. We first consider time series data available from repeated survey measures. We next replicate historic survey questions to observe change in public opinion relative to earlier points in time. Finally, we use Stimson’s (1991) dyad-ratios algorithm to construct an over-time index of political discontent that combines data from multiple poll series. This reveals rising levels of political discontent for both specific and diffuse measures of mass opinion. Our method and findings offer insights into the rising tide of disillusionment afflicting many contemporary democracies.
Anti-politics, Public opinion, Diffuse support
0033-362X
748-758
Jennings, William
2ab3f11c-eb7f-44c6-9ef2-3180c1a954f7
Clarke, Nicholas
4ed65752-5210-4f9e-aeff-9188520510e8
Moss, Jonathan T.
e5478a0e-3666-4d70-84ed-dc4bba11784d
Stoker, Gerry
209ba619-6a65-4bc1-9235-cba0d826bfd9
Jennings, William
2ab3f11c-eb7f-44c6-9ef2-3180c1a954f7
Clarke, Nicholas
4ed65752-5210-4f9e-aeff-9188520510e8
Moss, Jonathan T.
e5478a0e-3666-4d70-84ed-dc4bba11784d
Stoker, Gerry
209ba619-6a65-4bc1-9235-cba0d826bfd9

Jennings, William, Clarke, Nicholas, Moss, Jonathan T. and Stoker, Gerry (2017) The decline in diffuse support for national politics: the long view on political discontent in Britain. Public Opinion Quarterly, 81 (3), 748-758. (doi:10.1093/poq/nfx020).

Record type: Article

Abstract

This research note considers how to track long-term trajectories of political discontent in Britain. Many accounts are either confined to using survey data drawn from recent decades or imperfect behavioural measures such as voting or party membership as indicators of political disengagement. We instead develop an approach that provides the long view on political disaffection. We first consider time series data available from repeated survey measures. We next replicate historic survey questions to observe change in public opinion relative to earlier points in time. Finally, we use Stimson’s (1991) dyad-ratios algorithm to construct an over-time index of political discontent that combines data from multiple poll series. This reveals rising levels of political discontent for both specific and diffuse measures of mass opinion. Our method and findings offer insights into the rising tide of disillusionment afflicting many contemporary democracies.

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Accepted/In Press date: 27 April 2017
e-pub ahead of print date: 31 May 2017
Published date: 7 September 2017
Keywords: Anti-politics, Public opinion, Diffuse support
Organisations: Economy, Governance & Culture, Politics & International Relations, Geography & Environment

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 408202
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/408202
ISSN: 0033-362X
PURE UUID: 1a5e2753-d175-49dc-b08e-31adcc647651
ORCID for William Jennings: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-9007-8896
ORCID for Nicholas Clarke: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-9148-9849
ORCID for Gerry Stoker: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-8172-3395

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 17 May 2017 04:01
Last modified: 05 Jul 2022 01:42

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Contributors

Author: Nicholas Clarke ORCID iD
Author: Jonathan T. Moss
Author: Gerry Stoker ORCID iD

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