As Laver (1992) notes, people who write about Irish politics frequently describe Ireland as a rather peculiar place. One aspect of this peculiarity is that voters in the Republic of Ireland do not behave like their European counterparts. In particular, Irish voting patterns appear to be only weakly structured by social class. Recent contributions to the debate employing a more sophisticated categorisation of classes have led to some qualification of the 'politics without social bases' description, but still lead to the broad conclusion that any relationship which does exist between social divisions, on the one hand, and party preference, on the other, is, at most, quite marginal. In this paper we draw on data from the 1990 European Values Study to re-examine this issue. We apply a variety of models to the data, including logit regression and diagonal reference models (Sobel 1981, 1984) to explore the complex fashion in which class and political preferences are related in Ireland. We argue that the relationship between such preferences and social divisions are, in fact, greater than has been hitherto thought. In particular, we show the importance of taking into account not only social class but also class origins and class mobility in understanding the nature of political partisanship in the Republic of Ireland.
|Number of pages||17|
|Journal||European Journal of Political Research|
|Publication status||Published - Sep 1994|