The impact of local identities on voting behaviour: a Scouse case study


The political salience of local identities has received limited academic attention in the British political science literature. This paper is a step towards addressing this, through a case study of the Scouse identity. The Scouse identity is primarily found in the English city of Liverpool, Merseyside and its environs. Using original survey data of electors from across Merseyside, alongside the British Election Study, this paper explores the political salience and consequences of the Scouse identity and places it in the comparative context of sub-state national identities across Great Britain, namely Englishness, Scottishness, and Welshness. I find that holding a Scouse identity leads to higher levels of Labour support and lower levels of Conservative and Green support, that the political consequences of the Scouse identity vary across Merseyside, and that local identities can and do exist alongside sub-state national identities, challenging the myth of ‘Scouse not English’. Put simply, local identities can and do matter when it comes to shaping voting behaviour.

In British Politics

Dr David Jeffery
Dr David Jeffery
Lecturer in Politics

My research interests include British politics (widely defined), Liverpool’s political history, Scouse identity, and quantitative methodologies.