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.

5 comments:

broncodelsey said...

'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.'

This group has already seen their minimum wage undercut by Labour's policy of mass immigration together with the 500,000 or so illegal immigrants that it has allowed into this country.

In terms of services you want to visit a few schools and see the waiting lists and the massive amounts of additional spending to pay for special language classes,translation services et al.
Not to mention immigrants being allowed to queue jump council house waiting lists.
I think you will get the question from this group of what's left to cut?

DevonChap said...

I saw this article at the time. It does show that the Tories aren't getting the same movement over the collapse of this Brown bounce than at the last big shift in 2007/8. It is, however, only over the last 3 months. If you compare to 2005 election (the figures that matter) then you see then Labour got 40% of the C2 vote. Now they are on about 20% (looking at Populus figures) and the Tories are in the lead in the C2 category (albeit only a small lead). So Labour is a long way from an election winning coalition.

I think the C2s aren't leaving Labour in quite the numbers the Guardianistas are, is down to the law and order issue. Labour is still determined not to be outflanked by the Conservatives on the right on this issue. The trouble is that the civil liberties issue has moved so far that it alienates the intellectuals that are the other half of Labour's coalition.

quietzapple said...

I would like to see a poll taken to correlate car ownership, use and political views over time. Mondeo Man, White Van Man & co are truthful stereotypes I feel.

Such a poll may be more informative than the standard A/B/C1/C2/DE type analysis. Experience knocking up in Hornsey last May suggests it would.

Move over Weber . . .

quietzapple said...

the Tories have a coalition too, and mid term blues favours them and the other opposition parties.

Not ALL of them will vote to get Labour out, many feel that Cameron is 'Call me Dave' Bliar Mk 2 & etc, and there are some with social consciences who may drift to the Lib Dems, others who will be peeved if Cameron is tainted by B Johnson's views on repatriation of the illegal immigrants in the UK, others who don't like his "green" policies, or doubt his sincerity of a range of similar issues.

Brown is still perceived as clumsy but politically fairly straight I think, and the various abuses of him may well rebound to his advantage. Women are not keen on bullying.

snowflake5 said...

broncodelsey: "This group has already seen their minimum wage undercut by Labour's policy of mass immigration "

What a load of rubbish. The minimum wage has been rising a lot faster than inflation during Labour's government. Because the wage is set by government rather than by supply and demand, the impact of incomers has had no effect on the minimum wage. The incomers may have had an impact on higher wage earners though. In the mid-90's you had to pay rip-off rates for a plumber and were overcharged. That's now at reasonable rates (and as most people earn less than £255 they are relieved at not being ripped off).