|Here’s why bigotgate could have an effect on polling day
||[Apr. 29th, 2010|05:30 pm]
Today in Politics
It was a head in hands moment to end them all – slagging off voters, especially your own, is never recommended election banter. But now the debate has turned to whether or not it will matter, or whether it will simply confirm people’s prejudices. Here’s why I think it could make a difference on polling day.
Gillian Duffy is in an important bracket of the population when it comes to elections – she has been in work (for the council), but on a low wage. She is one of 14m people in the group (in working households with total household income of up to £27,000), which have in the past voted for Thatcher and then Blair. Crucially, they are much more likely to vote than those out of work on a low income or benefits.
Fascinating polling for the Resolution Foundation, a thinktank, which has broken down the voting intentions according to people’s income, has thrown up some interesting results.
Before the debates, Labour and Brown were fighting back among low earners like Gillian. They wanted change and Cameron was in the lead, but the comeback was certainly on. Once the debates began, many voters fled to the Lib Dems, backing Clegg as their change candidate. Cameron lost votes. Brown’s recovery came to an end.
The group were extremely volatile – have a look how much their voting intentions changed. Was there a chance, before bigotgate, that Brown could have won them back over the last week? Maybe not in huge numbers, but the level of volatility meant people hadn’t made up their minds. Surely now, after offending one of the 14m, they’ll not take another look at GB.
Low earner polling:
February 2010: 38 Tories, 26 Labour, 20 Lib Dems, 16 Other (Populus)
Early March: 40 Tories, 37 Labour, 12 Lib Dems, 11 Other (Polulus)
Late March: 34 Tories, 29 Labour, 22 Lib Dems, 15 Other (Ipsos MORI)
April: 27 Tories, 27 Labour, 38 Lib Dems, 9 Other (Ipsos MORI)
2010-04-29 07:09 pm (UTC)
How the other half lives
People on low income would vote Labour despite the Mrs Duffy scenario. It's more important to protect your own economic circumstances than to get on your moral high horse over a storm in a teacup. I don't think people on low incomes trust the conservatives to look after their interests. How do I know that? Because I am one of those people.
The Liberal Democrats are OK but in many seats its a fight between Lab and Con and the liberals "can't win". I'm in a seat like that now. They say the vote for the liberals would be a wasted vote. So despite Gordons Gaffe the natural labour people (i.e. the low-income earners), if they vote at all, will vote for the labour MP and the only question is whether those who don't normally bother to vote (say 40% or so) will be stirred by something or other to get their bodies out of their armchairs and exercise their right to vote. Seems unlikely.
Furthermore, those who would like to see a Lib-Lab pact in power might think vote Labour is the best way of ensuring that (particularly in seats like mine). Certainly voting for the conservatives is not on. Unless you have a house worth a million pounds or so that you want to leave to your offspring. And there are VERY FEW outside London in that position.
I was annoyed more by Gordon Brown assertion that as many Brits had emigrated as there had been immigrants. He totally ignored the EU immigrants which the woman was specifically talking about. That was hidden in the row over his assertion that she was a bigot. I do not regard wanting to protect local jobs for local people bigotted, and nor do the vast majority of British people. More to the point I dislike blatant liars. I would not vote for any party that included George Brown however much they paid me!