On Wednesday 18th December 2019, Onward publishes some initial findings from our upcoming election study, ‘Realignment: a study of the 2019 General Election’.
During the General Election, Onward conducted an in depth study of voter attitudes during the 2019 General Election. The study was conducted in partnership with Hanbury Strategy and included two polls, one on the first weekend of the campaign and one at the end of the campaign, with the same respondents sampled across both polls.
While a full report will be released in 2020, we have released Ten things to know about the 2019 General Election as an immediate post-mortem:
- ‘Workington Man’ swung behind Boris Johnson. 77% of white, male, over-45 year old voters who did not go to university, voted Leave and live in the North and Midlands voted for the Conservative Party. This compared to 42% in 2015.
- The ‘Red Wall’ is now a pile of rubble. The Conservatives took 33 of the possible 66 seats in the Red Wall of seats, a term coined by Onward Advisory Board member James Kanagasooriam.
- Leavers went to the Tories, Remainers shunned Labour. 71% of Leave voters voted for the Conservatives, just 47% of Remainers voted Labour. All but two of the Conservative gains were in Leave-voting seats.
- “Contract voting” helped the Tories in Leave areas. 22% of voters voted for a party other than their “ideal” party, disregarding local seat and candidates, and this was most significant in Leave-voting seats, especially those the Conservatives gained.
- Age remains a crucial dividing line in the electorate – the tipping point fell, but the age curve steepened, partly due to high conversion among older voters. The age at which a voter becomes more likely to be Conservative rather than Labour fell to 43, but mostly because the Conservatives converted older voters during the campaign.
- Both parties have an interlinked age gender problem, but Labour lost the ‘centrist dads’. Only 12% of 18-24 year old women voted Conservative, but just 11% of over-65 year old men did so.
- The campaign itself won over WNVs and BXP voters. Undecided voters are the beginning of the campaign split evenly between Labour and Conservatives.
- The Conservatives won over the skilled working class. The Conservatives won over 51% of C2 voters and had leads over Labour for DE and C1 voters too.
- Areas with low qualifications swung from Labour. The Conservatives did best in areas with higher numbers of people with lower qualifications.
- The gap between landslide and hung Parliament narrowed. The most significant success of the campaign was preventing a Labour surge in vote share, as changing vote distribution means the gap between a hung parliament and a landslide is becoming narrower.
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