Age Is the New Class in UK Voting: Age 34 Is the Crossover

Age Is the New Class in UK Voting: Age 34 Is the Crossover May 5, 2017

Labour used to be the party fo the working class, what with its history in workers’ rights. Not so much anymore. Analysis from YouGov shows that age has become the new class in dividing the nation, along with education. Here are some snippets from them:

Age: The new dividing line in British politics

In electoral terms, age is the new class. The starkest way to show this is to note that Labour is 19% ahead when it comes to 18-24 year-olds and the Conservatives are ahead by 49% among the over 65s. Our analysis suggest that the current tipping point – which is to say the age where voters are more likely to favour the Conservatives over Labour – is 34.

In fact, for every 10 years older a voter is, their chance of voting Tory increases by around 8% and the chance of them voting Labour decreases by 6%. This age divide could create further problems for Labour on 8 June. Age is also a big driver of turnout, with older people being far more likely to vote than young people. It’s currently too early to tell the exact impact this could have on the final result.

And on education:

Education: The higher the qualification, the higher Labour’s vote share

Alongside age, education has become one of the key electoral demographic dividing lines. We saw it was a huge factor in the EU referendum campaign and, after the last general election, we made sure we accounted for qualifications in our methodology. This election will be no different. While the Conservatives lead amongst all educational groupings, their  vote share decrease for every extra qualification a voter has, whilst the Labour and Lib Dem vote share increases.

Amongst those with no formal qualifications, the Conservative lead by 35%. But when it comes to those with a degree, the Tory lead falls to 8%. Education also shapes other parties’ vote shares. UKIP also struggles amongst highly educated voters, polling four times higher amongst those with no formal qualifications compared to those with a degree.

Which, for a number of reasons, is pretty depressing concerning the local elections in the UK last night. Local elections garner low turnouts, and it is mainly the older generations who get out and vote with greater consistency. As I mentioned the other day, with a disillusioned youth who are left behind in manifestos and policy decisions, we have a politically dispirited class of young people who are not interested and motivated enough to vote leaving it to the older ones, skewed to the right, to do their democratic duty.

Let’s hope this changes for the general election is a month’s time…

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