Sunday, 18 April 2010

Historic polls show Conservatives must win for it's futures sake

Those that know me know that I'm not a believer in polls as they have proven to be wrong many times in the past and when an election is this close with more votes expected for smaller parties and independents and all kinds of local factors its very hard to predict the final outcome. However I believe trends are worth examining.

I have been examining the ages of voters for the historic polls see below

There are some interesting points to note.

1. The vote stays very consistent for over 55's however the is variation in the other ages.

2.The vote for Labour and the conservatives drops when the opposition is in power.

3.Notice what has happens in the 2010 April poll. The other age groups have a Tory lead but the under 24s vote has actually decreased for the conservative and increased for Labour. This is a worry if this continues for the future of the Conservative party.

4. This ages bracket won't make a massive difference in this election because 18 to 25 is about 10% of the voters where as 50% of the voters are over 45. However this is still the future more likely voting pattern as most people do not change their vote.

Have new voters simply got used to a Labour government or are they more idealistic when they are young. In the other elections the 18 to 24 vote has been inline with the other age groups although this started to change in 1987. Some people have changed their vote as they move into the older group. However its this decrease in an election where the conservative are expected too get the most seats that is most striking.

Perhaps the Conservatives need to win this election if only to get the 18 to 24 age group used to a Tory government again.

This work was done before the leaders debate and I have not updated this because we do not know if this is temporary surge at the time of writing. I will update after the next leaders debate. I have heard on the news that the biggest increase in Liberal Democrat Support has been amongst people under 35. If this is true then they are less likely to get their news from the press and therefore less likely to be presudaed by the press to change their vote. Again if this is the case then Labour and the Conservatives need a different strategy to win those voters back.

These polls are based on the average for the year using the Ipsos Mori polldata taken from reseach by EarlhamSociology. The 2010 poll is taken from April 10th Polling data.

Todays link has to be to the UK polling Report Blog which contains all the polling data you could want and analysis.

Please click on the charts below to examine each age group in detail.


  1. Looking instead at Party membership, using the last published figures & the age-profile surveys done in 2005, while Labour has 5 times as many members as the Libdems in the over 60 group when we look at the under 40s the numbers are roughly equal at about 17K. The overall picture suggests that Labours strength comes from people who joined in the 1960s & 70s when Liberal competition hardly existed. Labour are a Party slipping steadily into the past.

  2. Paul, great point. I also heard that Lib Dems recently had over 60,000 people join the Lib Dems many of who are under 30. This will also have an effect on building the future of the Lib Dems