All in this together? Austerity and the gender-age gap in the 2015 and 2017 British general elections

Anna Sanders, Rosalind Shorrocks

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Abstract

The 2010-2015 Conservative-led Coalition’s austerity policies hit women financially harder than men. However, contrary to expectations at the time, the Conservatives still gained more support from women than men on average in the 2015 General Election. We examine the impact of austerity on vote choice in the 2015 and 2017 General Elections through analysis of Labour and Conservative economic policy in conjunction with data from the British Election Study’s face-to-face post-election surveys. The expectation that women should be particularly anti-austerity and thus less supportive of the Conservative Party does hold for younger women, who were especially pessimistic relative to their male peers and older age groups about their living costs, household finances, the economy, and the NHS in both elections. However, this does not hold for older women, who were protected by the Coalition’s policies on pensions and were more similar to men in their assessment of their economic situation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)667-688
JournalBritish Journal of Politics and International Relations
Volume21
Issue number4
Early online date8 Sept 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Keywords

  • austerity
  • gender gaps
  • vote choice

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