My latest paper on Partisanship and Covid-19 vaccination in the UK (joint with Margaryta Klymak) was accepted at Scientific Reports (Nature Portfolio).
The article examines the association between partisanship and vaccination in the UK. In existing literature, the lower vaccination rates among Republicans in the US have been linked to ideology and President Trump’s anti-vaccination rhetoric. But we do not know whether this also applies to the UK, where both ruling and opposition parties have promoted the national vaccination program.
Using two datasets at constituency and individual levels, we analyse whether there are partisan differences in uptake when vaccination garners cross-party support. Our findings contrast in important ways from the US case.
First, the correlation between partisanship and vaccination is the opposite to that of the US: both Conservative constituencies and individuals are associated with higher vaccination rates than Labour across almost all age groups. Thus, right-wing individuals do not necessarily vaccinate less, at least when their political party is in power and supportive of vaccination.
Second, partisanship alone accounts for a large share of variation in vaccination rates, but this association appears largely driven by socio-economic and demographic differences: older and economically better off individuals and constituencies tend to be more vaccinated. Once these controls are included, the correlation between Conservative partisanship and vaccination shrinks substantially. Hence, the ideological source of the partisan gap in vaccination rates appears smaller than in the US