Tina: Your research examined the relationship between religion and the political commitments in Britain and I was really intrigued about what led you to conduct the research.
Nick: We conducted a research project about 18 months ago, which was written by Andy Walton. It asked whether there was a religious right emerging in Britain and, to cut a long story short, that project concluded that the answer was no. But it begged another question, which was if we don’t have a religious right, if we’re not going down the US path, what do we have? Is there such a thing as a religious vote or a religious block vote and, if so, what impact will it have? So we decided we would investigate that particular question in this research.
Tina: In terms of the relationship between members of the Christian denominations and the voting preference, what did the research reveal?
Nick: We went back through about 50 years’ worth of British election studies and charted how people of different religious groups or different Christian denominations voted – or, more precisely, said they had voted – in each of those elections. Broadly speaking, there were some alignments – not strong blocks but alignments: alignments between Anglicans and the Conservative Party, between Roman Catholics and the Labour Party, and much weaker, certainly much weaker today, between other Christians and the third party.
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