Gendering the Floating Voter: A Mixed Methods Study of Gender and Undecided Voters in Britain

Rosalind Shorrocks, Anna Leslie Sanders

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Women are more undecided than men about their vote choice, with around 20-30% of female respondents giving a ‘don’t know’ response to vote intention survey questions in Britain. In this paper, we employ a mixed methods research design to explore why women are more likely to be undecided about their vote choice than men. Using survey data, we find that the gender gap in ‘don’t know’ responses is associated with gender gaps in political engagement and perceptions of policy representation. In focus groups, we find differences between men and women in how they want to be represented, and gender differences in conflict-avoidance/conflict-seeking, both of which we expect to contribute to gender differences in making a vote choice in-between elections. Our findings contribute to our understanding of how men and women engage with politics in Britain, as well as having implications for interpreting gender differences in vote intention in surveys.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Politics and International Relations
Early online date19 Apr 2024
Publication statusPublished - 19 Apr 2024

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