Aidan Regan: Irish politics has realigned along new class lines

With the rise of the knowledge economy, a new working class has emerged of highly educated, low-income voters. It is these who are likely to carry Sinn Féin into government at the next general election

Political scientists typically describe the structural transformation of capitalist democracies from the 1960s to the present as a shift from industrial to knowledge-based societies. This transformation is directly observable in the labour market, and the type of jobs people do.

In the past, industrial societies were defined by the high number of people working in routine semi-skilled occupations, such as manufacturing and clerical administration. Today’s knowledge-based societies are defined by the high number of people ...