Still three Wales? Social location and electoral behaviour in contemporary Wales

Roger Scully*, Richard Wyn Jones

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Wales provides a notable exception to the contemporary academic consensus that electoral behaviour is best studied via choice-based approaches. In Wales, the orthodoxy remains that of the Three-Wales Model, an approach formulated in the 1980s which saw voting behaviour as defined by class, language and national identity. This article submits the Three-Wales Model to detailed scrutiny for the first time. The model is argued to have been constructed on a very narrow theoretical basis, and on flawed measurements. Most importantly, however, the Three-Wales Model is shown to have little empirical leverage on voting behaviour in Wales - either for the period when it was formulated or for more recent elections. Factors associated with 'valence politics' theories are shown to provide far greater insight into voting behaviour in contemporary Wales.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)656-667
Number of pages12
JournalElectoral Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Political Science and International Relations

User-Defined Keywords

  • Electoral behaviour
  • Three-Wales Model
  • Valence politics
  • Wales


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