Is it a progressive majority or a progressive minority?

Interesting thoughts from Peter Kellner:

During election week, YouGov asked people where they placed themselves on the Left, centre or Right. We offered three variations of Left and Right: “very”, “fairly” and “slightly”. At first sight, Labour and Lib Dem supporters look fairly similar, and very different from Conservative supporters. Labour supporters divide: 54% Left, 23% centre and 5% Right, while Lib Dem voters divide: 43%-29%-9%. Contrast those figures with the Tories: 5%-21%-57%. If that were the only evidence we had, then the conclusion would be irresistible: most British voters belong to one of the two tribes on the left bank of British politics, while only a minority belong to the one significant tribe on the right bank.

But that is not the only piece of evidence. When we asked the same Lib Dem voters which they would prefer if they had to choose, 51% plumped for a Labour government led by Gordon Brown, while 36% opted for a Conservative government led by David Cameron. So the advantage resides with Labour, but it is far from overwhelming – and very different from 2005, when Lib Dem voters opted by three-to-one for Labour/Blair over Conservative/Howard.

Among the electorate as a whole, the division is 47% Conservative/Cameron, 43% Labour/Brown. This tells a different story from that derived by totting up the votes and saying that progressive Lab-LD voters outnumber Conservative voters by 54% to 37%. However much we might wish otherwise, a Cameron-led government has greater public appeal than a Brown-led government. The margin is not great; and it is far less than it was for most of last year. But the notion that a Lab-Lib coalition would automatically command majority support is simply wrong.

You can read his full piece here.

Read more by or more about .
This entry was posted in News.
Bookmark the web address for this page or use the short url http://ldv.org.uk/19514 for Twitter and emails.
Advert

6 Comments

  • Interesting – this left to right analysis is as we know flawed.

    There are more than two dimensions to politics – one of the attractions to me of the coalition is the desire to reduce the state interference that has gone too far under Labour. ID cards and the overly complex tax and credits system for example, let alone the over bureaucratic approach to business regulation.

    Freedom and localism versus state centralism would I believe see many more people on the side of the coalition.

  • Given the restrictions to human rights during the last 13 years, the Iraq war etc, I can’t understand why would anybody call Labour “progressive”, anyway.

  • This survey seems to prove that the average voter hasn’t a clue when it comes to Left or Right wing policies. 2010 marks our 31st year of economically rightward leaning government in Thatcher’s mould, dancing around a centre point. The greatest achievement of the Labour PR department seems to have been convincing people that that was not the case.

  • The world has changed, ideas of left and right mean completely different things to almost everyone, and most young people would struggle to give you a description of what they mean if asked.

    Let’s talk about policies, principles and ideas, instead of abstract right and left wing leanings.

    I, personally, think it’s time for a new language in politics, one that encourages people to actually look and think about what everyone is offering, instead of choosing a camp to place themselves in.

  • @Alex: I’m not sure we’re going to get that, happy as that day would be. The current system allows the media, each party, and the public to label each others supposed views very conveniently.

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Advert



Recent Comments

  • User Avatarstuart moran 1st Nov - 6:36am
    sesenco Why is that the most 'telling observation' ?- personally I think the most telling observation is that the governing party has had an MP...
  • User AvatarDavid-1 1st Nov - 2:08am
    Paul Barker will be surprised; ostensibly, at any rate.
  • User AvatarT-J 1st Nov - 12:58am
    Sorry, David, I thought I was responding to anecdotes of your experience of LibDem internal politicking with anecdotes of my experience of the Greens. Having...
  • User Avatarmalc 1st Nov - 12:01am
    The bookies now have the LibDems at odds on - 5/6 - to get less than 25 seats at the next GE - I doubt...
  • User AvatarSesenco 31st Oct - 11:55pm
    For me, the most telling observation about the Rochester & Strood byelection thus far is that Labour, if it is to form the next government,...
  • User Avatarmalc 31st Oct - 11:47pm
    The best odds on the parties to win Rochester: UKIP 1/11 Tories 10/1 Labour 80/1 Greens 500/1 Britain First 750/1 LibDems 1000/1