Jeremy’s Doing Well! Tories More Popular With Working Class Than Labour

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson takes a tour of Bristol port in a tug boat during a General Election campaign stop in southwest England on November 14, 2019. (Photo by Frank Augstein / POOL / AFP) (Photo by FRANK AUGSTEIN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
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The UK Labour party appears to have been deserted by the traditional power base its name would imply it exists to serve, as a poll reveals a plurality of working-class voters is now more likely to support the Conservatives in the forthcoming December snap general election.

Labour’s takeover by a radically left-wing, London-centric hardline faction fronted by party leader Jeremy Corbyn appears to have had the opposite to intended effect as the key demographic the party has been able to rely upon in election after election for 90 years increasingly give their trust to Boris Johnson’s Conservatives instead.

Undertaken by ComRes for British newspaper the Daily Telegraph, with less than a month to go until polling day the polling data suggests 43 per cent of voters in the so-called ‘DE’ social groups — working class and unemployed — would vote for the Conservative Party. Just 28 per cent said they would vote for Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour.

This new situation is a total reversal of comparable figures from the last general election in 2017, when working-class voters overwhelmingly backed Labour instead — 43 to 35.

The swing towards the Tories in this key demographic may be crucial on polling day, as the Conservatives need to take dozens of seats from Labour to win a working majority, to avoid another hung Parliament.

Conservatives are also the most popular in the upper managerial and executive end of the social scale — so-called ‘AB’ voters — but their share has fallen since 2017 with the anti-Brexit Liberal Democrats enjoying disproportionately high support among the wealthiest in society.

The figures are also promising for Boris Johnson’s strategy on Brexit, as 62 per cent of voters who backed leaving the European Union in the 2016 referendum said they would vote Conservative in December.

While the polling puts the Conservatives at 40 per cent nationally and projects a healthy majority of 110 seats, such projections and polling in general remain a problematic and imprecise science in the United Kingdom, with a catalogue of high-profile recent failures. Pollsters broadly failed to call the 2015 general election, 2016 referendum, and 2017 general election, three of the most important national votes of recent times.

National vote share is also not necessarily a helpful representation of actual election outcomes. A clear example of this is Theresa May’s 2017 election result — winning 42.5 per cent of the national vote — but failing to win the election overall as the votes tended to be in the wrong places to win crucial extra marginal seats.

That performance compared to David Cameron’s in 2015, when he won significantly fewer votes proportionally at 37 per cent, but gained an unexpected victory by having those votes more usefully distributed in the most important areas, carrying a large number of marginal seats.


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