This article investigates socio-structural cleavages in relation to social policies in Switzerland. It examines the extent to which vertical stratification, age and gender
explain variation in individual social policy preferences. We use survey data on reported voting behaviour in 22 direct democratic referendums on distributional issues
between 1981 and 2004. Our two main findings are the following: 1) age seems to be the most relevant line of conflict in most distributional issues; 2) vertical stratification (income and education) and gender are less important in explaining individual voting decisions. Our data also suggest that material interests based on socio-structural characteristics account for only part of the variation in social policy preferences, and that value cleavages are also important.