Britain’s changed electoral map in and beyond 2015: The importance of geography

Ron Johnston, Charles Pattie, David Manley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
233 Downloads (Pure)


Three geographical elements play major roles in the operation of the UK’s electoral system: the geography of support – how spatially segregated each party’s voters are; the geographical clustering of those segregated areas; and the constituency boundaries within which those geographies are nested. In the period from 1970-2010 as a result of the interaction of these three, Britain’s apparent three-party system (four-party in Scotland and Wales) was represented in a series of geographically separate two-party systems. At the 2015 election, although there was little change in support for the two largest parties from the overall situation in 2010, there were substantial changes in the volume and geography of support for the five smaller parties. Those latter changes produced very different geographies in 2015 from those in 2010, with major likely consequences for the next contest in 2020.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-70
Number of pages13
JournalGeographical Journal
Issue number1
Early online date20 Apr 2016
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017


  • Great Britain
  • general election
  • 2015
  • electoral geography


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