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New Left Review I/1, January-February 1960

Ralph Samuel

The Deference Voter

A study of the working-class Tory

This article has been written on the basis of a preliminary survey in Clapham and Stevenage.

there are many people in the Labour Party who still believe that the “working class Tory voter” is a myth. The working class Tory has been treated as an isolated deviant, a fabricated figment projected both by the Conservative Central Office and the left wing extremists to embarass the Party. For some years, the Party has been geared, at each election, to “getting out the Labour vote”—the safe assumption being that the social composition of Labour’s support is a fixed, immutable fact, and that the only barrier to an electoral victory was the “reluctance” of the working class to cast a vote.

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Raphael Samuel, ‘The Deference Voter’, NLR I/1: £3

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