Parliamentary Affairs 66(2) pp 364-383
This paper explores the issue salience of social welfare for disabled people in electoral politics with reference to party manifestos in Westminster and regional elections in the UK. Innovative aspects include mixed methods analysis of multi-tier elections on a cross-cutting issue. The findings reveal an initial post-war clinical-medical approach to welfare and the subsequent emergence of a policy discourse of rights, legal protection and equality as part of growing electoral competition over policy aimed at disabled people. It is argued that the formative role played by party manifestos needs to be incorporated into contemporary study of the politics of disability.