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.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Political Science and International Relations
- Electoral behaviour
- Three-Wales Model
- Valence politics