Movers and voters
Why moving house makes people more right-wing
DO PEOPLE move to Conservative bastions in shires and small-town England because they tend to vote Tory? Or do they vote for David Cameron's party because they live in Tory strongholds? A forthcoming paper by Patrick Sturgis of Southampton University, Frank Buscha of Westminster University and others examines how people's political views change as they move house.
Mr Sturgis and his colleagues are particularly interested in the effect of moving to safe Conservative or Labour seats from any other kind. They found that the longer people live in bits of Britain that overwhelmingly vote Conservative, the more likely they are to support that party (see chart). People who move to safe Labour seats do not become more left-wing, though.
Social and economic factors such as income, age and marital status affect people's decisions about where to move, and also influence the way they vote. But the researchers tried to control for this. They still found that people tend to grow more right-wing the longer they live in Tory seats.
One explanation is that Conservatives are better at nudging newcomers to join their tribe. Safe Labour seats tend to be urban, mobile and socially diverse, so people who move to them may feel less compelled to fit in. Another possibility is that people who move to Labour strongholds are already so left-wing that it is difficult for them to become stronger supporters of the party.
Safe seats do not determine the outcome of elections, so this pattern matters little in the short term, suggests Peter Kellner, head of YouGov, a polling firm. But it will matter eventually. Britain may be succumbing to a process known in America as “the big sort”, which has been blamed for growing political polarisation in that country. A Conservative victory in 2015 that secures few seats in northern England or Scotland, or a Labour win that leaves the south coloured deep blue, would not be healthy for democracy.
1.tend to 倾向于；趋向
例句:We tend to meet up for lunch once a week.
2.live in 住在
例句:I clearly empathize with the people who live in those neighborhoods.
3.move to 搬到；移动
例句:They are selling their house to move to a smaller one.
4.try to 设法；试着
例句:I try to remember all the good times I've had here.