Got sent a very interesting thesis looking at the change in voting patterns of the working classes in the UK and NZ. The two respective Labour parties were formed primarily to represent the working class, but has there been a class realignment.
The thesis uses NZ Election Study data to look at voting patterns of working class voters, being those who are manual or routine workers.
So what has it found for New Zealand. Well below is the margin between Labour and National in the last six elections for working class voters:
- 1999 – Labour +25%
- 2002 – Labour +29%
- 2005 – Labour +15%
- 2008 – Labour +4%
- 2011 – Labour +3%
- 2014 – National +3%
So think about that. More working class voters in 2014 voted for National than Labour. I think this illustrates what Chris Trotter has often said – they have lost touch with many working class families.