With the dust still settling on that election result, it’s time for our other – seemingly annual these days – political spectator sport: breaking down the votes to see exactly what went down in the polling booths.
Of course, we can’t know for sure as all votes are anonymous (well, we hope they are anyway) but YouGov have attempted to identify some patterns by interviewing over 50,000 British adults to put together a full picture – and, as you’re sampling actual votes (well, assuming the subjects aren’t lying) rather than voting intentions, it's possible to be very accurate.
Anyway, enough #statisticschat, let’s get to the findings – and tl:dr, it’s bad news for the Tories.
Labour now has a majority among everyone under the age of 47
YouGov state that “age seems to be the new dividing line in British politics” – and, whereas in 2015 (graphic below), the Tories won the vote among 30-39-year-olds (36% to 34%), this time (graphic above) Labour absolutely romped home (55% to 29%). Additionally, in 2015, the Tories were only 4% off Labour among 18-29s, this time out there was a colossal difference in Labour’s favour.
Another interesting stat, with such a clear correlation between age and voting intention: the ‘crossover age’ at which one is more likely to vote Tory than Labour is now 47 – up from 34 at the start of the campaign.
Older people are still voting more than young people
Much was made of Jeremy Corbyn’s ability to mobilise the youth vote – confirmed by that leap in Labour support among 18-29 year-olds – but the likelihood of voting still increases with age. However, this could be viewed as an opportunity for Labour: the Tories may have already maxed out their cohort, while there’s plenty of youngsters still left to reach for Corbyn, as and when the next election comes around. Additionally, the 30-39 bracket looks like another opportunity for Labour – their turnout is lower than you’d expect, and they’re a pro-Labour cohort.
Working people are more likely to vote Labour than Conservative
The stats seem clear: the Tories are now overwhelmingly relying on the votes of retired people. In every other category – including working people – they lose out. This is where demographic and economic factors could get interesting – we have an ageing population, so people are living longer, which should in theory suit the Tories long term – but only if they can afford to retire, which seems less and less likely these days.
More educated people are more likely to vote Labour
YouGov comment that, “alongside age, education has become one of the key electoral demographic dividing lines”. There’s a pretty clear correlation here – the more educated you are, the more likely you are to vote Labour.
The major newspaper titles are still hugely polarised
Forget the echo chamber of the internet, the print press continues to be incredibly tribal, with only the Financial Times and the Daily Star being read by a balance of Labour and Tory voters. The Sun is perhaps more balanced than you’d expect – 59% to 30% in favour of the Tories.
However, we’d like to see some analysis of how many of these people viewed newspapers as their primary source of information (the question asked was ‘which newspaper do you read most often?’); they may have chosen one that they read rarely, and in fact found most of their political reading online.