What do the academics say? Tax and public support

Welcome to the latest in our occasional series highlighting interesting findings from academic research. This time it is a paper from David Brockington (University of Plymouth) and Todd Donovan (Western Washington University) looking at the political impact of increasing taxes.

After reviewing the work of others in this area, they focus in on council tax levels and election results in English local councils, comparing the performance of Labour and Conservative against changes in council tax levels:

We have tested if governments that presided over marginal increases in existing taxes lost vote share and seat share in the subsequent election. We find that taxes increased by Conservative-controlled local councils result in significant and substantive vote share loss and seat share loss for Conservatives. There is no such effect of rate increases from Labour-controlled councils. Indeed, our results suggest (but are not statistically significant) that Labour might actually benefit from tax increases that are imposed by Labour-controlled councils.

You can read their full research paper here and you can see the previous posts in this series here.

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This entry was posted in What do the academics say?.


  • Given the correalation between income and Labour voting presumably labour voters more likley to have their council tax covered by welfare payments and thus not care if taxes increase?

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