How many people identify with each party?

Interesting figures from YouGov, who have updated their “party I.D.” figures, that is the proportion of people who say they are a supporter of a particular party as opposed to what their current voting intention is (e.g. they may be a Labour support but have a current voting intention of Green):

Labour 32.5%
Conservative 28.5%
Liberal Democrat 12%
Other 3%
Don’t know 24%

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  • Is that an improvement for us? I thought it was 9% last time…

  • 12% – Lib Dem – I too feel this is at the higher end of what I would guess we were at . 10% is the point I would have put money on – so this good news in my book!

  • paul barker 23rd Jun '10 - 2:18pm

    Its interesting to compare identification as a proportion of vote share,
    Others 30% Libdems 50% Tories 75% Labour 110%
    Labour are the outlier, with less voters than identifiers, an illustration of their dependence on past acheivements & a demographic in slow decline.

  • Andrea Gill 23rd Jun '10 - 2:24pm

    Very misleading though, this was pre election. Sadly so many who SAID they would vote Lib Dem either voted for someone else, or didn’t bother to vote after all

  • Interesting to note that this was aligned with the reassessment of voting intention and weighting by opinion polsters. The polsters view the last election as an incorret outcome with them overstating Lib Dem support and therefore needing to correct us downwards.

    Good to see our core support as higher, need to understand and be wary the impact of volatility and potential support / waiverer voters on opinion poll results..

  • Simon Titley 23rd Jun '10 - 4:26pm

    YouGov’s figures reiterate a long-standing problem for the Liberal Democrats; the party’s vote is unusually soft compared with that of its two main rivals. This problem was also illustrated in May by an eve-of-election opinion poll conducted by Ipsos MORI, which showed that, whereas 28% of Labour voters and 17% of Conservatives said they might change their mind, 40% of Lib Dems said they might. As the collapse of the ‘surge’ demonstrated, many did change their mind.

    The Lib Dems have only themselves to blame. The party needs to consolidate a core vote by enthusing its natural base, but is reluctant to do so for fear of causing offence. Instead, it repeats the mantra “we can win everywhere”. But the only way you can win everywhere, amongst any demographic in any location, is to say different things in different places or avoid taking any moral stand at all. This works fine when you’re campaigning on purely ward-level local issues but is not a winning strategy at a national level. If you can win everywhere, you can also lose everywhere.

    And because Lib Dem support tends to be transient and shallow, it means that, at each election, the party has to put a disproportionate effort into winning its previous vote afresh.

    I explored this question in more depth in a posting on LDV in 2008, where I identified the party’s natural base as being younger, better educated, more cosmopolitan voters:
    The Lib Dems support amongst different age groups in this year’s general election bears out this argument:

    You can never please everyone. Attracting some voters means repelling others. Only when the party grasps this point can it abandon blandness and move up to the next level.

  • I am not unhappy with a our vote being ‘soft’ as such. It is far less likely in Liberal Democrat thought to say ‘I will vote for this party and none other for ever’ as this indicates a certain tendancy towards illiberalism…

    Wheras for Labour, somehow, changing their policy to an illegal war, de-regulation of banking, abolition of 10p tax band, the tripling of the rate of decline of manufacturing, growing poverty, and growing gender inequality seem to be unimportant next to the name and colour of the party. [The same goes for the Tories]

    If the Lib Dems had done these things (far worse than the budget despite our minority) would I have remained as a member of the party? Would you?

    A few of my closest friends who were definitely Lib Dems took until this election and the resulting ‘Cleggmania’ to actually join the party because their free-thinking democratic mind-set struggled with this concept of party loyalty. I am not saying this is right, but it is a greater tendency.

    Having said all that, I think it is clear that our philosophy is the best distilled and honed of any party’s in ‘On Liberty’ (Mill), ‘The Liberal Republic’ (Reeves), ‘Equality of What?’ (Sen) and even ‘Justice as Fairness’ (Rawls). I know why I am a Liberal and a Democrat.

  • There is a historical element to all this.
    The comment i vote Labour because my father and grandfather did is still fairly common. There is also an old fashioned
    view that Labour is the party for working people.

    This in my view is why Labour support in larger towns and cities particularly in the North has been remarkably resilient.
    It explains why in 1983 for example Labour got 28% and 200 seats while the then Alliance got 26% but less than 30 seats.

    The Liberal Democrat voting base is small historicially strong in parts of SW England, rural Wales and Scotland.
    It is also fairly strong in areas where Labour has virtually disappeared Newbury is a good example.

    The Lib Dem vote has been further increased recently due to dissatisfaction with Labour over Iraq or civil liberties
    for example. This is a soft vote that may return to Labour now they are in opposition.

    Finally the Lib Dems biggest asset is their commitment to localism and community activism. They are universally acknowledged and respected for this.

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