Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

New data reveals UK divided along age and education lines as traditional voting allegiances shift

Traditional voting indicators have shifted. Credit: PA

Despite this being the 'Brexit election,' the largest survey yet on last week’s general election has revealed the UK is as much divided along age and education lines as it is Remain versus Leave.

The YouGov survey found men are more likely to vote Conservative, that Labour voters are educated to a higher level while those who ticked Tory on polling day are more loyal to the party.

Brexit still played a huge role in December's election. Of those surveyed, 55% of Remainers voted Labour, while 65% of Leavers gave the Conservatives their backing, with the Tories boosting their vote share among Leavers.

And despite their 'Get Brexit Done' message, the Conservatives managed to hold onto two thirds of their Remain-backing voters.

Labour, meanwhile, lost a chunk of the Remain vote to the Lib Dems, their share dropping to just under half (49%).

With their 'Stop Brexit' pledge, the Lib Dems managed to increase their vote share among Remainers to 21% - up from 12% in 2017, but not enough to save them from a dismal night at the polls.

How Britain voted in the 2019 general election: Vote by age. Credit: YouGove

Only half (52%) of those who voted to leave in the EU referendum and for Labour in 2017, stuck with Corbyn's team in 2019. A third (33%) of these Leave voters moved directly to the Conservatives; 6% cast their ballot for the Brexit party.

The YouGov survey asked 40,000 British citizens across age, gender, class, education and previous votes. The research found traditional battle lines - such as class - were less of a key indicator in how people voted.

Age was found to be more of a determining factor in how people vote, with 67% of over 70s backing the Tories, while 56% of those in the 18-24 bracket putting their cross next to a Labour candidate.

The research found that for every 10 years older a voter is, their chance of voting Conservative increases by around nine points, while the likelihood of them voting Labour decreases by eight points.

The political tipping point at which a voter leans from left to right has dropped from the age of 47 to 39.

How Britain voted in the 2019 general election: Vote by age and gender. Credit: YouGov

There was a fairly even gender split, with 46% of all men questioned voting Tory compared to 44% of women. But the gap opens widely in the 18-24 age bracket where 65% of women voted Labour compared to 46% of their male contemporaries.

Class is no longer the voting indicator it once was, with the Conservatives outperforming Labour across all social grades.

Considering the party's strong performance in former industrial towns along the 'red wall', it should not come as too much of a surprise that the Conservatives made gains among C2DE (working class) voters.

The Tories actually got a larger share among those voters (48%) than they did amongst ABC1 (middle class), voters (43%).

How Britain voted in the 2019 general election: Likelihood of British adults to vote Conservative/Labour at GE2019 by age. Credit: YouGov

Among the much larger group of voters who do not hold a degree, Conservatives gained 58%.

Labour were consistent across both social grade groups (33%) but outperformed Conservatives among voters with a degree or higher, with 43% of the share in that group compared to the Tories' 29%.

The Lib Dems also did well with those who had been to university, gaining 17% of the vote.

Crucially, the Conservatives retained far more of their 2017 voters than Labour did, with some 85% of those staying with the Tories in the most recent election, compared to 72% of Labour voters.

The SNP kept hold of 87% of their past voters, according to the study.