Daily Left News

The dust has settled on the 2024 general election in which Labour returned to office for the first time in 14 years. Pundits and commentators have been doing their best to make sense of why the nation voted the way it did.

Helping them on their way is some detailed polling from Lord Ashcroft, which looks at how different demographics voted and, crucially, what was behind their decision to vote the way they did. The data provides a fascinating insight into what really happened in the election.

Starting with the demographics, the polling gives us some key insights:

The Greens came second among 18-24 and 25-34 year olds. Only Labour picked up more of the vote among these age groups. 15% of 18-24 year olds voted Green, along with 14% of 25-34 year olds.

The only age group that the Tories did better than Labour was with over 65s. 38% of over 65s said they voted Tory, compared to 24% who said they voted Labour.

Men were more likely vote Reform than women. Women were more likely to vote Green and Lib Dem than women. According to the poll, Reform got 16% of the vote from men, and 12% of the vote from women. The Lib Dems got 11% of the vote from men and 13% of the vote from women. The Greens got 6% of the vote from men and 8% of the vote from women.

As for why people ended up backing the party they voted for, the number one reason given by voters for each party was:

Labour – They would do a better job of running the economy.

Tory – They would do a better job of running the economy.

Reform – Preferred the promises made by the party than any other party.

Lib Dem – Trusted the motives of the party more than any other party.

Green – Trusted the motives of the party more than any other party.

SNP – Trusted the motives of the party more than any other party.

Ashcroft’s poll also looked at the question of tactical voting, asking whether people voted for the party they did because they were the party they most wanted to win or because they wanted to prevent another party from winning. The responses showed that Lib Dem voters were by far the most likely to be tactical voters, with almost half of people who backed the party saying they did so in order to block another party. The results were as follows:

Labour voters: 29% voted to try and stop the party they liked least from winning, 68% voted for the party they most wanted to win.

Tory voters: 27% voted to try and stop the party they liked least from winning, 70% voted for the party they most wanted to win.

Reform voters: 19% voted to try and stop the party they liked least from winning, 78% voted for the party they most wanted to win.

Lib Dem voters: 46% voted to try and stop the party they liked least from winning, 50% voted for the party they most wanted to win.

Green voters: 17% voted to try and stop the party they liked least from winning, 79% voted for the party they most wanted to win.

SNP voters: 13% voted to try and stop the party they liked least from winning, 86% voted for the party they most wanted to win.

Finally, the poll delved into the top issues that shaped people’s decision to on the way they voted in the general election, which suggests that the electorate backed different parties depending on which issue they thought was most important. The poll found:

For the electorate as a whole, the number one issue was the cost of living, followed by the NHS, then immigration and asylum, then the economy and jobs, then having the right leadership.

For Labour voters, the number one issue was the NHS, followed by the cost of living, then having the right leadership, then the economy and jobs, then poverty and inequality.

For Tory voters, the number one issue was the economy and jobs, followed by immigration and asylum, then the cost of living, then having the right leadership, then the NHS.

For Reform voters, the number one issue (and by a substantial margin) was immigration and asylum, followed by the cost of living, then having the right leadership, then the NHS, then taxes.

For Lib Dem voters, the number one issue was the NHS, followed by the cost of living, then climate change and the environment, then having the right leadership, then the economy and jobs.

For Green voters, the number one issue was climate change and the environment, followed by the cost of living, then the NHS, then humanitarian aid and Gaza, then the economy and jobs.

For SNP voters, the number one issue was Scottish independence, followed by the cost of living, then the NHS, then having the right leadership, then Brexit.

Chris Jarvis is head of strategy and development at Left Foot Forward

The post Fascinating polling reveals why people voted the way they did appeared first on Left Foot Forward: Leading the UK’s progressive debate.

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