While there have been many studies of the political role played by trade unions in Britain, few have considered their electoral influence in detail. This book aims to rectify this and in particular highlights the breakdown in the electoral linkages between the Labour Party and the unions that has occurred since the 1960s. Rival explanations for this are considered in the course of the analysis of the political attitudes and partisanship of trade unionists. After examining all the evidence the author dismisses the view that organizational links between Labour and the unions have been significantly eroded. He illustrates how the interplay of social change and volatile party-union relations accounts for the loss of support among manual trade unionists, while emphasizing the potential that unions have for affecting the outcome of elections.
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