The Social Basis of the Vote: Class Voting in Finland

Aino Tiihonen, Peter Söderlund

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

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In Finland, the class cleavage is reflected in the socioeconomic left-right cleavage. Historically, working-class voters have been on the left of the spectrum and supported socialist ideologies, whereas the bourgeois has been on the right of the spectrum. Utilizing two different survey-datasets (Finnish National Election study and EVA Surveys on Finnish Values and Attitudes) and two class-voting indexes, Alford’s index and Lambda index, the study delves into the strength of social class as a determinant of party choice in Finland between years 1984 and 2019. The chapter considers two approaches to measuring voters’ class-positions: the most common class indicator, occupation, and voters’ own perception of their class position, subjective class identification. Results show that social class still plays a significant role in party choice, particularly among working-class voters who favour left-wing parties. Interestingly, when subjective class identification is used as an indicator of class position instead of occupation, the level of class voting remains even higher. This chapter contributes to a deeper understanding of the complexity of class voting in Finland’s electoral system and offers insights into the intersection of social structure and political behaviour.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPolitical Behaviour in Contemporary Finland
Subtitle of host publicationStudies of Voting and Campaigning in a Candidate-Oriented Political System
EditorsÅsa von Schoultz, Kim Strandberg
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781003452287
Publication statusPublished - 2024
Publication typeA3 Book chapter

Publication series

NameRoutledge Advances in European Politics

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 2


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