Is traditionally hugely influential.
In ‘60s and ‘70s Labour traditionally got support from lower social classes who worked in heavy industry due to Labour’s welfare support and links with trade unionism, and Conservatives traditionally got more support from higher social classes due to their policies of lower taxes SC continues to be an important factor today. In 2015: Conservative got most of their support from class AB voters (44%) and least from DE (29%), and Labour got most of their support from voters from social class DE (37%), and least from AB (28%).
Con AB: 44% Lab AB: 28%
Con DE: 29% Lab DE: 37%
Also, for 2014 Scottish independence referendum, according to IPSOS Mori polling, 65% of those living in one of the 20% most deprived neighbourhoods in Scotland voted Yes, compared with just 36% of those in the one-fifth most affluent.
Shows traditional SC loyalties still exist and shape attitudes
Class dealignment in ‘70s and ‘80s. Traditional working class occupations, e.g. heavy industry such as shipbuilding and coal mining were replaced with middle class occupations, e.g. tourism, IT. Class boundaries were blurred and traditional class loyalties weakened.
Tony Blair’s rebranding of Labour as ‘New Labour’ moved Labour toward the centre political ground and said in 1999 ‘the class war is over’. SC’s influence was declining.
2015 stats: although trend is still for AB to vote Conservative and DE to vote Labour, significant numbers in both in 2015 voted the reverse, which shows there are clearly other factors at play and that the influence of social class as a factor affecting voting behaviour is not as strong as it once was.