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How it came about, an analysis of the 2010 British General Election Professor Sir Robert Worcester Dr. Roger Mortimore Dr. Paul Baines Mark Gill 18 th.

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Presentation on theme: "How it came about, an analysis of the 2010 British General Election Professor Sir Robert Worcester Dr. Roger Mortimore Dr. Paul Baines Mark Gill 18 th."— Presentation transcript:

1 How it came about, an analysis of the 2010 British General Election Professor Sir Robert Worcester Dr. Roger Mortimore Dr. Paul Baines Mark Gill 18 th May 2011 Thatcher Room Portcullis House Explaining Cameron’s Coalition

2 Share of votes (GB) Seats (41%) (-14%) (48%) (+17%) (9%) (-1%) (-6) (+7%) (+7%) (+0) (+2) 2010 GE: Tories led by seven - but nobody won 326 to win

3 It was as much Tony Blair as Gordon Brown that lost it for Labour Source: Ipsos MORI Average of published voting intention polls in each month* *Excludes BPIX 2006 %

4 The Tories were far enough ahead to win in 2009, but they could not find a way to seal the deal and slipped back before the debates Source: Ipsos MORI analysis of data from pollingreport.co.uk Average of all published voting intention polls in each month %

5 The Political Triangle © 24% PARTY IMAGE 31% LEADER IMAGE 46% ISSUES Floating Voters Values Base: 1,742 British adults 18+, April 2005 Base: 1,120 British adults 18+, February 2009 Source: MORI QI want you to think about what it is that most attracted you to the … party. Some people are attracted mainly by the policies of the party, some by the leaders of the party and some because they identify with the party as a whole. If you had a total of ten points to allocate according to how important each of these was to you, how many points would you allocate to the leaders of the party you intend voting for, how many to its policies, and how many to the party as a whole? = 38% in 2010 = 7.5% Swing 2005

6 I want you to think about what it is that most attracted you to the … party. Some people are attracted mainly by the policies of the party, some by the leaders of the party and some because they identify with the party as a whole. If you had a total of ten points to allocate according to how important each of these was to you, how many points would you allocate to the leaders of the party you intend voting for, how many to its policies, and how many to the party as a whole? Source: Ipsos MORI For the first time, leaders were as important as policies in how people voted Leaders Parties Policies Mean scores shown Base: All giving a voting intention c.700 British adults each month (1, )

7 Brown retained some positive attributes against Cameron – but crucially not on “personality” items Understands world problems Understands Britain's problems Inflexible Talks down Narrow minded Inexperienced Patriotic Out of touch Honest Sound judgement Personality Good in crisis Down-to-earth Capable leader CLEGG CAMERON BROWN Base: 975 British adults 18+, 13th-18th May 2010 Source: Ipsos MORI

8 But not on “being liked” % Like % Dislike Jan ‘07 Apr ‘ Brown Cameron Source: Ipsos MORIBase: c. 1,000 British adults 18+ in each survey Brown Cameron +9.5% swing - 5% swing

9 Perhaps because the party never fully “detoxified” its brand Source: Ipsos MORI Base: 975 British adults 18+, 13th-18th May 2010 LIB DEM CONSERVATIVE LABOUR Promise anything to win votes Understands the Problems facing Britain Dominated by leader All classes Professional Out of touch Moderate Interests of people like us Keeps its promises Sensible policies Good team of leaders Extreme Divided Concerned

10 And the Tories remained less liked than Labour! % Like % Dislike Jan ‘07 Apr ‘ Labour Conservatives Labour Conservatives Source: Ipsos MORIBase: c. 1,000 British adults 18+ in each survey +1.5% swing - 1% swing

11 The economy was the over-riding public concern NHS Crime/ Law & Order Economy Source: Ipsos MORI Q “What do you see as the most important issues facing Britain today? What are the other important issues facing Britain today?” Unemployment Base: c.1,000 British adults age 18+ each month Race/ immigration Defence Education

12 Managing the economy* Education Asylum/immigration Taxation But no party had a clear lead on it Source: Ipsos MORI Base: Those thinking each issue was important, from 1,503 British adults 18+, March 2010 *For managing the economy, base includes those thinking unemployment was important LabourConservativesLib DemsOther/None/Don’t know % who think issue is ‘very important’ in helping them decide how to vote Healthcare 14 +3% 0% + 5% + 38% + 6%

13 Half again as many interested as in ‘92 Source: Ipsos MORI Political MonitorBase: c. 1,000 British adults 18+ in each survey Q “Thinking back to the campaign, how interested would you say you were in news about the General Election?” 52%58%68%75%

14 The first debate had a huge impact, but not so much on the final outcome Source: Ipsos MORI analysis of data from pollingreport.com Average of all published voting intention polls in each period % Election called First debate Second debate Third debate Final polls Election day

15 % Definitely decided % May change mind Mid- campaign Eve of poll A more volatile electorate in 2010 Source: Ipsos MORI Political Monitor

16 Before the campaign In the first week Within the last week Q. “When did you decide which party to vote for? Was it before the campaign began, in the first week of the campaign, around the middle, within the last week, or within the last 24 hours?” Around the middle Base: 1,399 British electors, 5 th – 10 th May 2005 Within the last 24 hours Don’t know (*%) More than a quarter didn’t decide until the last week Before the campaign In the first week Within the last week Around the middle Within the last 24 hours Don’t know (1%) Base: 1,023 British adults 18+, 12 th -13th May 2010 Source: Ipsos MORI Political Monitor 19% 28%

17 Understanding the Result

18 The detail on how Britain voted in 2010

19 Traditional demographic differences are becoming less useful in explaining who people will vote for Base: 10,211 GB adults 18+, 19 March – 5 May 2010, weighted to the final outcome and turnout Source: Ipsos MORI +5.0% +5.5% +4.5% +9.0% +8.5% +5.0% +1.0% +3.5% +2.0% +3.0% +7.5% +7.0% Lab – Con Swing Con lead over Labour

20 Oct Con lead over Lab higher among womenCon lead over Lab higher among men 2010 The gender gap: a generational shift Source: Ipsos MORI Election Aggregates

21 Where you live does matter Base: 10,211 GB adults 18+, 19 March – 5 May 2010, weighted to the final outcome and turnout Source: Ipsos MORI +5.0% Lab – Con Swing +3.0% +6.0% +8.0% +7.5% +6.5% +7% +2.5% +6.5% +4.5% -0.5% +6.5% +6% +6.5% Con lead over Labour

22 And so does what you read Base: 10,211 GB adults 18+, 19 March – 5 May 2010, weighted to the final outcome and turnout Source: Ipsos MORI +5% Lab – Con Swing +7% +4% +6.5% -2.5% +5.5% -0.5% +1.5% +10% +13.5% +8% +5.5% Con lead over Labour

23 % A low turnout, again, but not turned off Average = 76% Average = 62%

24 Differential turnout boosted the Conservatives Base: 10,211 GB adults 18+, 19 March – 5 May 2010, weighted to the final outcome and turnout Source: Ipsos MORI Con lead in this group

25 There is no working class majority anymore (even if they all voted!) Source: National Readership Survey ABC1C2DE 44 % 56 % WORKING CLASS MIDDLE CLASS 63 % 37 % 19% SWING

26 More middle class than working class voters voted Labour Source: Ipsos MORI Election Aggregates Middle class Labour voters Working class Labour voters Middle class voters for other parties Working class voters for other parties 2010 (4.6m) (4.1m)

27 27 Do they have regrets? How 2010 voters say they would vote now... Source: Ipsos MORI/Reuters Base: 4,164 GB adults 18+, January-April 2011 Voted Tory in 2010 Voted LD in 2010 Voted Labour in 2010 Q “How would you vote if there were a General Election tomorrow?” Still vote Tory Still vote LibDem Still vote Labour

28 What did we vote for?What did we get?

29 Thank You

30 The poll pickers picked away… Source: Ipsos MORI analysis of figures collected by the British Polling Council

31 Then there was the Exit Poll 10 PM: “Rubbish” 11 PM: “If the exit poll is right, I’ll run naked down Whitehall” Midnight: “Let’s wait and see” 3 AM: “M’God, it might be right after all” 6 AM: “Well, what do you know?”

32 “Well, what do you know?” (right again)

33 Q “Are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the way Mr Blair / Mr Brown is doing his job as Prime Minister? Brown’s 2010 approval ratings were similar to Blair’s in 2005 Source: Ipsos MORI Brown March 2010 Blair March 2005 Base: c.1,000 British adults age 18+

34 2010 general election: result SeatsVotes (GB) Conservative Lib Dem Other Labour

35 The Tories failed to do significantly better in the marginal constituencies

36 The debate has encouraged me to vote for the party I already support Don’t know (1%) The debate has encouraged me to switch my vote from one party to another The debate made me change from being undecided to choosing one of the parties to vote for Which of these statements do you most agree with? None of these The debate has put me off voting for any party (1%) The debate has had no impact on how I intend to vote Base: 899 British adults 18+ who watched the first debate, 18th-19th April 2010 Source: Ipsos MORI Half said the first debate had some impact on their voting intention

37 Key insights into the 2010 general election (1) 1)It was as much Tony Blair as Gordon Brown that lost it for Labour 2)Brown’s 2010 approval ratings were similar to Blair’s in )Brown retained some positive attributes against Cameron – but crucially not on “likeability” 4)The Tories were far enough ahead to win in 2009, but they could not find a way to seal the deal and slipped back before the debates 5) The economy was the dominant issue of this election – but no party was trusted on it 6) It was the leaders not the policies that mattered in this election – and the public had decided this before the debates 7)The public found this to be one of the most interesting elections 8)The debates were very exciting but made no real difference in the end

38 9)Many more people took their time to finally decide how to vote 10) More than a quarter didn’t decide how to vote until the final week 11)The polls were right (again); the Exit Poll spectacularly so 12)Traditional demographic differences (gender, age and class) are becoming less useful as explaining who people will vote for 13)But where you live makes a huge difference 14) Voting is still aligned with newspaper readership – Sun readers swung the most heavily towards the Tories in )Turnout was low again and this helped the Conservatives 16)The middle class vote will be crucial in future elections – including for Labour 17)Do they have regrets? Some do for sure! Key insights into the 2010 general election (2)

39 Key Reference Points Capable (p78) Class shift (p281) Debates impact (p146/217/218) Exit poll (p294) Gender gap (p.286) If Libs could win (p204) Interest (p225) Issues (p178) Late decision pies (p193) Leader image (p82/263) Like him (p81/126) Oct '07 Election off (p65) Party image (p91/127) Political triangle (p165) Polls (p292/310) Sleaze (p39/138): 10%, 18%, 24% Tactical voting (p206) Trust (p136/140): down to 13% from c. 20%, so not about 'restoring trust', it's about earning some Turnout (p15): average since the war 76%, only 65% this time Turnout impact : 44% vs. 76% 65+ Volatility (p192) Voting x readership (p244) Who won (p196)


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