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Monday, 4 December 2017

A Brief Analysis of the Older Tory Voter

  

Electoral data from 1945 -1970 suggested that older voters were more likely than younger voters to vote Conservative and less likely than younger voters to vote Labour.

This was often explained by the notion that as individuals grow older they become set in their ways.

People born in say 1900 would have grown up before a powerful Labour Party existed and might as a result have been socialised to vote Conservative or Liberal. People born in say 1930 with the reforming Labour Governments of 1945-51 may have been encouraged to vote Labour.

In 2010 some 76% of people over 65 turned out to vote.

The balance begins to shift

It is still a large percentage in the over 65s that vote Tory although all other groups have shifted significantly towards Labour. The retention of the Triple Lock was clearly a factor. Although the Dementia Tax caused a swing away from the Tories.

A poll, which interviewed 14,000 people during the last election found those aged 35 to 44 swung to Labour - 50% voted for them while just 30% voted for the Tories. This is compared to 36% of them voting Labour and 26% backing the Tories just two years ago.

Sky News’ political editor Faisal Islam said this “should terrify” the Conservatives, who have always sought to position themselves as the most credible on the economy to homeowners and parents.

Conclusion

We have to accept the past disparity in voting patterns of the elderly who continue to vote Tory. But nothing in history is static. Austerity will change the debate and turn everything on its head. Our work in the pensioner’s movement is critical. We need to explain the nature of those ‘austerity’ attacks and how we can vote to change things.

Steve Ion
ARMs National Committee Member

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