finely: technisch uitgekiend.
...

finely: technisch uitgekiend. floating voter: zwevende kiezer, onbesliste kiezer. mailshot: briefkaart. the odds are: naar alle waarschijnlijkheid. set in one's ways: met vaste gewoonten. sophistication: perfectie. to target: mikken op. volatile: veranderlijk. Although the odds are that the Labour government will win the upcoming election in Britain (see magazine article), it is not certain. The Conservatives could win it too. The third party, the Liberal Democrats, could do very well and, as a result, nobody could win it. The recent electoral history of Britain - four wins in a row for the Conservatives (1979, 1983, 1987, 1992) followed by two wins in a row for Labour (1997, 2001) and a third in prospect - might give a false impression of stability in British voting habits. In fact, the voting public is more volatile now than it has been for at least 60 years. Through most of the 20th century, politics was very much about tribal loyalties, so people's voting habits were fairly predictable. Almost all the middle and upper classes and a minority of the working class people always voted Conservative; most working class people always voted Labour. Election campaigns, therefore, were conceived as a competition to win the hearts and minds of the very small proportion of people who were not set in their voting ways. These 'floating voters' were held to be the key to victory. But class loyalties have been weakening and the public at large has lapsed into a general political apathy. Floating voters are no longer a tiny minority. In fact, polls taken in March suggest that a majority had not made up their minds which way to vote at this election - or whether to vote at all. This new diversity makes it difficult for the parties to decide where to focus their energies during the campaign. There are so many possibilities. Luckily for them, modern technology and research has made possible a degree of sophistication in targeting particular voters that would have been unimaginable only 20 years ago. They know how much people earn, where they shop, what they buy there and all kinds of other information, armed with which they think they can predict what is politically important to each household. All they need to know is your address. In the past, even the most detailed sociological typologies of British society divided the population into only about eight social groups. They now identify about 60 different social types. This election campaign, therefore, is being characterised by tele-sales style marketing and finely targeted mailshots.