Who Benefits from Future Labour or Tory Governments?

Gerry Hassan

Fascinating figures from YouGov’s Sunday Times weekend poll – which as far as I can find are only available online and not in the newspaper version (at least north of the border) (1).

When voters were asked who they thought would most benefit from a Conservative Government they responded:

The rich                                                   47%

Married couples                                      37%

Hardworking men and women                30%

The poor                                                  11%

Single parents                                           8%

Immigrants                                                7%

When voters were asked who they thought would most benefit from a Labour Government they responded:

Immigrants                                                  39%

Single parents                                             37%

The poor                                                      29%

Hardworking men and women                     25%

Married couples                                           14%

The rich                                                        14%

I think choosing my words carefully this tells us a lot about the images and identities of Conservatives and Labour. The view of the Tories top three groups has the negative of ‘the rich’, but two positive groups which people identify with.

Labour on the other hand – has as its three top groups – parts of the electorate which the mainstream political discourse and media world invite us not to identify with: immigrants, single parents and ‘the poor’. It is interesting that the three groups most associated with Labour are marginalised, vulnerable groups – who are consistently stigmatised in much of our politics and media.

These figures will have been seen and digested by Mandelson and viewed as evidence of the death of the Blairite New Labour project. I think more than anything else they point to the tide of the moment flowing towards the Conservatives, and that the flow of this campaign, irrespective of the ups and downs of day-by-day action, strengthening the Tories.


1. UK Polling Report, April 12th 2010, http://www.ukpollingreport.co.uk/blog/