Voter Migrations Since the Election
Given it’s been a decently long while since the election – about a year and a half, in fact – we thought we’d take a look at how people intend to vote now and compare it to how they voted in 2015. The figure below shows voter flows from the May election to now, and uses YouGov’s latest voting data, which you can find here.
There are three main points we think you should take away from this:
1. The Liberal Democrats are haemorrhaging votes to other parties. Given their mighty fall at the last election, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the party was back on its feet and that the 8% they achieved at the last election would mark an inflection point for the party. Unfortunately for the Lib Dems, that doesn’t seem to be the case. With so many of their 2015 voters migrating to other parties, an astonishing 52% say they’ll vote for the party next time. Labour seems to be the biggest beneficiary, gaining 22% of the Lib Dem vote from last time around. Notable, too, are the shift to the Conservatives (gaining 14% of the 2015 Lib Dem vote) and the Greens (gaining a relatively large 8%).
2. UKIP presents a similar threat to both the Conservatives and Labour. The media narrative around UKIP has changed very dramatically over the last few years. Initially, the party was seen as the disgruntled rump of the Conservative right, upset with the Cameroon modernising agenda; then they were characterised as predominantly a threat to the old, small-‘c’ conservative Labour vote. The reality, it seems, lies somewhere in the middle. From the data we have here, 5% of Conservative 2015 voters intend to vote UKIP at the next election, while 4% of Labour’s 2015 supporters say they’ll vote for UKIP.
3. The net Conservative-Labour voting migration benefits the Conservatives. While 3% of 2015 Conservative voters intend to vote Labour at the next election, 7% of Labour’s voters last year responded that they’d vote Tory at the next opportunity. A note for the number-crunchers: Given the difference in the numbers of votes both parties got at the last election, 7% of the Labour vote is actually just less than twice that of the Conservative-to-Labour switchers, rather than just more than twice the size.