New Dilemma of Social Democracy

15 Jan 24

New Dilemma of Social Democracy

New research, A new dilemma of Social Democracy? The British Labour Party, the white working class and ethnic minority representation, was recently published by Dr Zack Grant and Professor Geoffrey Evans.

The research paper explores the possibility that Labour could be experiencing a ‘trade-off’, whereby efforts to cater to minorities harm its perceived ability to represent white working class interests.

Professor Evans said:

‘Like much of the European centre-left, Britain's Labour Party has struggled to appeal to its former core working class support base in recent years. However, this is largely a failure to connect with the white working class specifically, whereas support among ethnic minorities has remained robust. Unlike graduates and minorities, the traditional (white) working class voters are somewhat less likely to view working class and ethnic minority representation as positively linked. Labour's emphasis on representing minorities is therefore associated with vote switching away from the party by the white working class. Our research suggests that ‘relative political deprivation’ is crucial: the sense that Labour is neglecting the very people it was set up to represent. Important policies that might help address this potential for division among Labour’s support bases are considered when discussing the findings.'


Read the full paper in the British Journal of Political Science