Political Research Across the UK: A Winter of Discontent?

Strategic Communications

November 18, 2019

Boris Johnson

With Brexit negotiations between the UK and EU having been kicked into the long grass, we await the outcome of what is sure to be a bitter and hard-fought election, where Brexit fights with domestic issues to capture the support of voters. Although early in the campaign phase, our polling from before the election was agreed, helps to contextualise somewhat predictable tactics being adopted by the leading political parties and politicians.

At the time of our research, we had the Conservatives and Labour neck and neck, both on 30% of those who said they would vote, but under the bonnet of British politics, a lot of factors are in play. Our research uses behavioural economics techniques to understand the rational, irrational and emotionally charged ‘New Model Voters’ in British politics.

The Voters are Churning

Both the Conservatives and Labour are expected to lose over 30% of those who voted for them in 2017. For the Conservatives, 17% are claiming they’ll now vote for the Brexit Party, highlighting the importance for Boris to be seen as a strong Brexiteer to help stop this churn. For Labour, 17% of their previous voters are split between the Brexit Party and Lib Dems. These are national trends and key will be whether this voter behaviour is clustered to particular electorates. In 2015, a relatively high vote share didn’t translate into seats for UKIP. The challenge for Lib Dems is also to seek out the marginal seats and high potential churn areas, where they can pick up the MPs and influence once captured under Clegg.

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