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| | |-+  UK: Liberal Democrat/ Labour Differences
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Author Topic: UK: Liberal Democrat/ Labour Differences  (Read 6390 times)
Ryan
ryanmasc
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« on: November 04, 2003, 12:07:08 pm »
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(This is a more appropriate forum for this discussion so I am posting it here for the benefit of anyone who wants to know about this topic)

MY post:

I'm curious as to the ideological differences between the Lib Dems and Labour. They do seem quite alike in General (actually Lib Dems and "Old" Labour seemed quite alike)

Even better I would like to know about differences in the voter base or the two parties. Granted both have left-leaning voters but are there demographic differences??
Would appreciate any insight you guys have on this??
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Ryan
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« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2003, 12:08:11 pm »
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Basically Labour are Democratic Socialists and the Liberal Democrats are Social Liberals.

The LibDems are to Labour's left on much social issues(eg. Drugs, immigration), but Labour are way to the LibDems left on economics(Labour's economic policy is Kenysian and very interventionalist, the LibDems economic policy is more centrist).

The LibDems were formed from a merger of the Liberal Party and the Social Democratic Party(who had broken off from Labour).

Labour's core constituancy is obvious from the name; Lower income and blue collar voters.

The LibDems do best amoung the liberal wing of the middle classes("Hampstead Liberals"), and in rural areas.

"Old Labour" never really existed... If you mean the "Bennites" the LibDems are nothing like them at all... in America the Bennites would be liked to communists.

Most LibDem voters vote on social issues, most Labour voters with their wallets.
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Ryan
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« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2003, 12:08:50 pm »
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Generally I would say the Liberal Democrats are socially to the left of the Labour party, economically slightly to the right. I would disagree that economically Labour and the Liberals are hugely different. Fiscally Labour has shifted enormously to the right since the 1980's when they were beholden to the unions. The voter base however is very different, although the LD's are usually the party of protest for both disillutioned Tories and Labourites. Labour voters are traditionally white working class and ethnic minorities. These groups are usually not very liberal and vote Labour merely out of economic interest. Liberal Democrat voters however are usually middle class and liberal. Doctors, teachers and people in the Arts often vote LD. The LD's however also attract a lot of votes from poor rural voters in areas such as Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, the Scottish Highlands and Herefordshire. These people wouldn't dream of voting Labour in a million years, however they also dislike the Tories so tend to plump for the LD's.
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