Saturday, February 21, 2009
A look at C2 voters
In the comments of my previous article, Devon Chap made this observation:
"The "internationalist and Europhile group who are moderate, centrist and mostly middle class" are not those who election specialists who study such things consider the key group. It is the social group C2 (lower middle class/higher end working class) - The Gavin and Staceys of the World. These are the ones who turn elections."
Of course he's right to mention the C2s. Just for you DevonChap, I draw attention to an article in the FT about C2 voters, or white van man as they call him.
The graph above comes from the FT. They compared opinion polls for 2009 to 2008 to see which voters are shifting and came to this conclusion:
"The change is most marked for the lower middle class – known to pollsters as the C1s. This group has swung by three points from Labour to the Conservatives since last spring, and by 10.5 points since 2005 – the biggest movement of any demographic group since the last general election.
But the C2 skilled working class appears to be bucking the pro-Tory trend. These “white van man” voters, who backed Margaret Thatcher in 1979 and Tony Blair in 1997, are seen as bellwethers of big shifts in the prevailing political mood.
Their support for Labour has fallen dramatically since the 1997 and 2001 elections. But Mr Cameron is failing to win them over in big numbers as the recession bites.
The C2s are the only demographic group to show a shift back to Labour since last spring, albeit by just two points, according to the analysis.
If Labour can retain the C2s, and win back the Guardianista group who are "internationalist and europhile", then an election win is still a possibility for Labour. DE's at the moment are splintering to radical groups and Tories, but they too can be won back when labour points out Tory plans to allow employers to opt out of the minimum wage, as well as making deep cuts to the services they rely on. As I keep saying, Labour is a coalition, and we need to keep the whole coalition intact. We can't lose any part of the coalition.