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Mon, 6 July 2020

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By Andrew McQuillan
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Age emerges as the new dividing line in voting as youngsters back Labour

Age emerges as the new dividing line in voting as youngsters back Labour
2 min read

Class has evaporated as the dividing line in voting intention, as more under-40s backed Labour than the Conservatives.


Voting data revealed by YouGov showed how the opposition was winning more voters in their twenties and thirties, but most of the Conservative’s support came from those over 40.

The trend intensified at both ends of the age spectrum: 66 per cent of 18 to 19-year-olds voted Labour and 69 per cent of those aged 70 or over backed the Tories.

The split was more equal among the middle-aged, as 44 per cent of people in their forties and 37 per cent of people in their fifties backed Labour, while 39 per cent and 47 per cent respectively backed the Conservatives. The crossover point, at which a voter is most likely to switch from Labour to the Tories, was 47 years old, up from 34 at the start of the campaign.

“For every 10 years older a voter is, their chance of voting Tory increases by around nine points and the chance of them voting Labour decreases by nine points,” the pollster YouGov said.

The survey also showed the closing of the class gap; professionals were almost as likely to vote for Labour as they were the Conservatives.

As in the EU referendum, education was another key dividing line. “While the Conservatives’ support decreases the more educated a voter is, the opposite was true for Labour and the Lib Dems,” YouGov said.

Among voters with no qualifications beyond GCSE, the Tories led by 22 percentage points, while among graduates Labour led by 17 percentage points. YouGov said: “Part of this relationship is down to age — on average, the young have more qualifications, although the Conservatives still have a ‘graduate problem’ even after accounting for this.”

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