May and Corbyn: A cross section of their support
Yesterday, the guys at YouGov released their last poll for January 2017, and we wrote a broad analysis of it covering the main headlines. But we think it might be useful if we talk a little bit about where the support for the two main party leaders comes from.
To do this, we'll be using voters' responses to the 'Who would make the best Prime Minister' question. As we've made clear before, this question isn't perfect as it gives the incumbent some advantage. But in modern electoral politics in the UK, party leaders' popularity ratings are very important. What's also good about a 'best PM' question - more than, say, a usual approval rating - is that it forces voters to make a choice between the two feasible candidates for Prime Minister.
Let's start by breaking voters down by their age groups. YouGov puts voters into one of four categories: 18 to 24; 25 to 49; 50 to 64; and 65 or older. We've graphed these responses above. The first thing to notice is that Theresa May beats Jeremy Corbyn in every age group. In a normal political landscape, where both candidates are roughly 'normal' for their parties, we would definitely expect younger voters to prefer the prospect of a Labour Prime Minister over a Tory one. This is, incidentally, what we see in the normal voting intentions: among the youngest age group, Labour is ahead by 11 points. The unpopularity of the Labour leader, however, means that this convention has been upturned. The Prime Minister, among 18 to 24 year-olds, is 9 points ahead of Jeremy Corbyn.
And it just gets worse from there for Corbyn. In an expected trend, the older an age group is, the more likely it is to view the Conservative leader favourably. In this YouGov poll, Theresa May racks up a lead of 20 points among 25-49s, a lead of 41 points among 50-64s, and a massive lead of 60 points over Jeremy Corbyn in the 65 and older age group. One other interesting thing to note: the Labour leader polls below 'Not Sure' in every age category.
2015 party vote
When the question is asked to voters who are sorted by partisanship - or, at least, their 2015 vote - the results become slightly more expected. Among 2015 Labour voters, Jeremy Corbyn is ahead and among 2015 Tory voters, May is ahead. But just compare the sizes of the candidates' margins: among those who supported the Conservatives two years ago, Theresa May is 81 points ahead. Corbyn's lead among 2015 Labour supporters, though, is less than half: only 38 points. Even among the party's 2015 voters, 'Not Sure' is 15 points ahead of Jeremy Corbyn.
As is to be expected, the Conservative leader has a stonking lead among 2015 UKIP supporters. But what's interesting is that she retains a large lead among Liberal Democrat voters, too.
You get the picture. Theresa May - just like among all other groups - is ahead of Jeremy Corbyn. There isn't much more to add to the graph above. Note that she is comfortably ahead of her rival even among the traditionally left-leaning areas like the North of England, London, and Scotland.
That's all we've got for now. When another poll comes out, we'll let ya know. Follow us on Twitter for real-time updates and quick snippets from polls. Also - if you want to support our work, feel "free" to make a donation below. Thank you!