Until the late 1960s, most informed observers agreed with Pulzer's well-known claim that ‘class is the basis of British party politics; all else is embellishment and detail’. More recently, however, most analysts have come to believe that there has been a decline in the association between class and party choice, a development that is generally referred to as ‘class dealignment’. Nevertheless, several researchers have challenged this new consensus and argued that there has been little or no trend in the association between class and party.
* Department of Sociology, University of Connecticut. The data are taken from the British Election Surveys, originally collected by D. Butler, D. Stokes, I. Crewe, B. Särlvik, J. Alt, D. Robertson, A. Heath, R. Jowell and J. Curtice. I thank Anthony Heath and Clive Payne for providing the data in the form used here, and David Sanders and three anonymous reviewers for their comments on previous drafts.