Why are voters switching parties?

“It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing…”

A poll in the Guardian caught my eye this week. Readers who were changing parties were asked their reasons for doing so.

Some extracts:

Switching from Labour in 2005 to Conservative now

• The economy is going down, people have no jobs, they are unemployed and they’ve got family and children to feed

• Because I am not happy with Labour’s performance – that’s it

• Because Labour is changing the rules and laws and made a mess of everything

• Because of the Conservatives’ policies

Lib Dem in 2005 to Conservative now

• There’s an actual possibility of the Conservatives getting in

• Don’t think Liberal Democrats will get enough votes to form a government

Labour in 2005 to Lib Dem now

• Because of taxation; they dealt with the financial crises poorly

• They should get a chance. Labour has been moving to the right and I am worried about things – the lack of civil liberty, they don’t represent the poor, only the privileged

• I am disappointed with Labour government and have no faith in the Conservatives. Mr Brown is useless, not very capable. We need a change.

Interesting that whilst voters complain that political parties campaigns focus too much on the negative, their reasons for switching are often just that.

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This entry was posted in News.


  • Surely, if people want information about the party, they can go to the Lib Dem website.

    As to the voters, I see nothing objectionable about their reasons.

    Politicians can resort to negativity out of anger and desperation. That is quite different from voters wanting a better government and holding people to account rationally.

    Sadly politics has been this way for as long as I can remember.

    Honest politics is hard though as long as people feel they have something to hide.

    I hope my suggestions are seen as constructive criticism.

    As to Mr Clegg, I would suggest not absolving the Lib Dems of blame for our current situation (which is what he seemed to do in a recent conference speech).

    Until you admit there is a problem, you cannot come up with solutions.

    Gandhi quote “You must be the change you wish to see in the world”

  • Maybe negatives are all we’ve got?

    The 3 main political parties continually ignore the bulk of the electorate. All 3 of them are broadly pro EU but the population isn’t and until our political “masters” discover democracy and offer the people a referendum it will remain the same. Labour has governed with a vote of roughly 23% of the electorate. I am desperate to get rid of them but the only way i can is to vote for my least worst option. This is pathetic.
    Luckily I have an answer that will kill two birds with one stone.

    Ban all donations of any sort to parties . The parties to be funded from member subscriptions only. That way in order to function the parties would need to appeal to broad areas of the people and not just party activist wonks…

    As the Meerkat says…..SIMPLES

  • “Interesting that whilst voters complain that political parties campaigns focus too much on the negative, their reasons for switching are often just that.”

    I wish I could make all my leafletters read this.

  • James, can you expand on that?

    In what way are Lib Dems seen as not being democratic?

  • Gandhi quote “You must be the change you wish to see in the world”

    Too true. Unfortunately politicians as a group have proven themselves corrupt. Although there are individuals of good character.

    We are in the current situation in this country because we do not take the political process seriously. We have had democracy so long that we do not respect it.

    We need a system in this country where voting is compulsory. Then so you know what you are voting for, all MP’s expenses, voting records, attendences at parliament, additional jobs should be a matter of public record. If as an MP you cannot survive in the crucible of public scrutiny then you are in the wrong job.

    Saying sorry when you get caught does not cut it.

  • “As to Mr Clegg, I would suggest not absolving the Lib Dems of blame for our current situation”

    I’m a Brit who lives in Portugal with a European girlfriend, my whole life is made possible by the EU

    I was absolutely appalled by the Liberal Democrat stance on the Lisbon treaty

    The LIBDEM stance was basically either

    you’re opposed to the EU

    or you support the EU treaty

    I’m a (small l) liberal who has voted twice for the Liberal Democrats, but the arrogance on this subject has been absolutely disheartening

    As liberals democracy should be the most fundamental building block of our philosophy

    but Nick Clegg, for some reason, abandoned that to try to force people into accepting his stance on the Lisbon treaty by trying to make it have equivalence with EU membership its self

    The beauty of the Liberal Democrat party is that its constituted from both sides of the economic spectrum

    the one thing that unites us is a commitment to democracy and civil liberty

    The Nick Clegg stance on the Lisbon treaty has certainly betrayed that

  • “We need a system in this country where voting is compulsory”

    That would be the text book definition of an Illiberal democracy

  • hahahah

    you are not free

    not to vote!!!!

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