Labour’s shrinking C2 and DE vote

In his Fabian Essay, reported in this morning's Guardian, Ed Miliband has written that the loss of less-affluent voters cost Labour the general election, and said that his rejection of "New Labour nostalgia" made him the modernising candidate in the leadership election.

Change in vote share by social group, 1997-2010

In his Fabian Essay, reported in this morning’s Guardian, Ed Miliband has written that the loss of less-affluent voters cost Labour the general election, and said that his rejection of “New Labour nostalgia” made him the modernising candidate in the leadership election. Mirroring analysis published by Left Foot Forward in May, Miliband backed up his point about Labour’s lost voters in a study published this afternoon.

The analysis showed:

Labour’s share of the vote amongst C2s and DEs is down considerably more between 1997 and 2010 than the party’s decline in more affluent classes (see graph below);

• Labour lost 1.6 million voters in each of the C2 and DE groups compared to 0.5 million ABs and 1.2 million C1s;

• If each party had secured the same DE vote share in 2010 as they did in 1997 the election result would have been Labour 34% (instead of 30%), Conservative 35% (37%), Liberal Democrat 23% (24%); and

• The class profile of the UK has shifted markedly from 1997 to 2010, with ABs up from 22% of the population to 27%, C1s up from 27% to 29%, C2s down from 23% to 21%, and DEs down from 29% to 23%.

David Miliband, who along with his brother are front-runners in the leadership race, has also written a Fabian Essay, in which he argues Labour’s lack of a shared ideology is a problem for the Party when opposing coalition cuts; he writes that “voters – many of them our voters – spent the election wondering whose side we were really on”.

He added that Labour needs its “own story of political economy that embraces neither the masochism of George Osborne nor the denial of economic reality”. Diane Abbott, Ed Balls and Andy Burnham have also written essays.

The latest Labour List Labour leadership survey, meanwhile, places Ed Miliband narrowly ahead among first preferences, with a 33.4% to 30.2% lead over his brother. The self-selective Labour List survey was conducted between 1.30pm on Monday 9th August and noon on Friday 13th August – 912 readers participated, 83% of whom said they were party members.

26 Responses to “Labour’s shrinking C2 and DE vote”

  1. Shamik Das

    Labour’s shrinking C2 and DE vote: http://bit.ly/azPhdd – More on @Ed_Miliband’s analysis of why Labour lost on @leftfootfwd

  2. Claire Spencer

    RT @shamikdas: Labour’s shrinking C2 and DE vote: http://bit.ly/azPhdd – More on @Ed_Miliband’s analysis of why Labour lost on @leftfootfwd

  3. David Morris

    What do AB, C1, C2 and DE mean?

  4. Anon E Mouse

    Shamik – These figures will change if the coalition cuts are as bad as they are alleged they will be. If the cut’s hit the poor they will vote Labour again.

    Myself? I smell a rat and do not believe the cuts will be as bad as they say and I think the tax take will also increase faster than expected.

  5. LockPickerNet

    Labours shrinking C2 and DE vote: http://bit.ly/azPhdd – More on @Ed_Milibands analysis of why Labour lost via @leftfootfwd

  6. Jo Jordan

    Does it say something about the British mentality that we don't go from class A to B to C to D but from D to C. . . http://ow.ly/2qe0c

  7. Robert

    Who cares anymore, the next time I will vote will be a show of hands on whether I go to heaven or hell, so long as Blair goes first and then I’ll go the other way.

  8. Fat Bloke on Tour

    Mr Mouse

    Surely not, the right wing upper middle class establishment working with the Treasury and the BoE to wave a shroud in a very energetic manner?

    Consequently are wrong and you were right.

    Wrong — The cuts will hurt no matter what happens, the ConDemNation are all fully paid up members of the Dog Boiling agenda. Any extra money will be tax cuts not spending increases, sorry smaller reductions compared to today’s budgets.

    Right, but not now — Before the nihilistic / sado masochistic cuts put forward by Sniffy then there was good chance fo a growth and tax rebound. AD had fully bought into the re-balancing agenda, public sector squeeze when approprite not slash and burn just for the sake of it.

    It will be beyond irony if Sniffy misses out on the recovery because of his wilful destruction of the public sector. I fear someone is about to experience a second dimension to his economic education, unfortunately at a horrible cost not only to his political reputation but also to the employment prospects of millions of British workers.

    He is a muppet economically, out of his depth to a frightening degree.

    You were warned but like millions of others you would rather have a severe thrashing from one of your betters than a balanced recovery from a party who wore a donkey jacket in your lifetime.

  9. NewLeftProject

    RT @leftfootfwd: Labour’s shrinking C2 and DE vote: http://bit.ly/azPhdd – More on @Ed_Miliband’s analysis of why Labour lost

  10. Ash

    Ed Miliband had my vote already, but I thought his Fabians essay was cleverly pitched as a warning to supposedly ‘pragmatic’ New Labour types that the election-winning strategy is now also the option that’s more in line with the Labour party’s core values: calling openly for the rich to pay a fairer share, talking about tackling inequality, promoting fair pay and dignity in work etc.

    I like the fact that he’s a geek with statistics to back up his pitch; Diane Abbott worries me with all her assurances that she’s not an intellectual, disparaging remarks about geeks, promises to save us from policy wonks etc. Give me someone who believes in policymaking that’s evidence-based as well as values-led.

  11. Anon E Mouse

    Fat Bloke on Tour – So you think I’m right or wrong?

    Personally I just think it’s all hype and the “cuts” will be through natural wastage and the economy, now that last useless bunch are out, will improve better than expected and the coalition will ride in on a white steed in a couple of years time.

    So far the polls do not show any harm to the Tories – their stats have improved and obviously so did Labour’s once they dumped that unelected useless Gordon Brown – the Lib Dems will turn round as things go on and anyone but Abbott will be elected Labour leader.

    It’s been a long time since anyone in the Labour Party wore a donkey jacket btw – you need to move on big man…

  12. Fat Bloke on Tour

    Mr Mouse

    I fear you and your public sector / publically funded extended family are in for a bit of a shock.

    The cuts are real, they will hurt and they will cause economic catastrophe.

    In time with the addition of some wisdom, humility and a little understanding you will come to the view that GB got it right about the global credit crunch and the work needed to generate a recovery.

    Dave the Rave, Sniffy and all the Orange Bookers on the other hand are just following a class based agenda based on slash and burn for the public sector.

    They are all dog boilers now and they are acting accordingly.

  13. Ash

    Anon – seriously? You think ‘natural wastage’ and economic growth are going to completely eradicate a £150 billion deficit within four years? Exactly what sort of growth figures are you expecting? 10%? 20%?

    What’s really funny is that the ‘useless bunch’ you criticise actually agreed with you that growth comes first when it comes to reducing the deficit; hence their commitment to job creation, capital investment (e.g. in new schools) etc. It’s George Osborne who thinks growth won’t get us very far and so we need to cut, cut and cut again, starting now. So your ultra-Brownite view puts you firmly on the Labour side of the argument.

  14. Anon E Mouse

    Ash – I don’t believe this coalition will implement the cuts they say they will – Thatcher never did in the early years it was all a perception.

    Natural wastage combined with the other measures they propose and an increase in the tax take will work.

    What’s your solution Ash? Keep employing people to do the non jobs we see advertised in The Guardian or stop the hand wringing and clear up the mess Gordon Brown left us with?

  15. Anon E Mouse

    Fat Bloke On Tour – So am I right or wrong then?

  16. When will the Right admit the Coalition has gone too far? | Liberal Conspiracy

    […] They overwhelmingly thought Labour was too close to bankers at the last election. Polling by both Ed Miliband and Ed Balls has shown that Labour didn’t lose middle-income voters at the last election […]

  17. Ash

    Anon –

    “Natural wastage combined with the other measures they propose and an increase in the tax take will work.” – How? How fast, roughly, would the economy have to grow for that to happen, and what makes you think it will grow that much faster than anybody else believes possible? Without some sort of economic argument to back it up, this looks like pure wishful thinking.

    “What’s your solution Ash? Keep employing people to do the non jobs we see advertised in The Guardian…?” – Hang on a minute – *you’re* the one saying cuts aren’t really necessary because natural wastage and economic growth will eliminate the deficit all by themselves. So I don’t understand why you’re now making the case for cutting spending on ‘non-jobs’ and expecting me to disagree with you. I’m the one who accepts that cuts are necessary, remember?

    “I don’t believe this coalition will implement the cuts they say they will – Thatcher never did in the early years it was all a perception.” – Hmm… it’s not that Thatcher didn’t cut spending on particular things (she did), it’s that she didnt manage to cut spending overall. That’s because things like the welfare bill went through the roof due to high unemployment levels etc. So if Osborne doesn’t manage to cut overall spending, that won’t mean he didn’t implement the cuts he said he would; it’ll just mean he ended up spending the money elsewhere. (If you cut unemployment benefit by 50% but have to pay it twice as many people, you haven’t ‘cut spending’ – but you’ve certainly made a ‘cut’ that people will feel.)

  18. Andy Sutherland

    RT @leftfootfwd: Labour's shrinking C2 and DE vote http://ow.ly/2qe0c < Backs @Ed_Miliband point to a tee

  19. DarrellGoodliffe

    RT @andy_s_64: RT @leftfootfwd: Labour's shrinking C2 and DE vote http://ow.ly/2qe0c < Backs @Ed_Miliband point to a tee

  20. An injury to one is an injury to all…. «

    […] Often debates about the direction Labour should travel boil down to who Labour actually represents. Ed Miliband has made the point that Labour’s collapse in support amoung the C2′s D’s and […]

  21. Why @Ed_Miliband is the right person to lead the Labour party | Liberal Conspiracy

    […] pursue the centrists hasn’t actually worked in practice. Most of those votes lost were at the lower end of the socio-economic spectrum, not middle-class “aspirational” […]

  22. Josh

    So, interesting as this is, it misses a crucial bit of information: Where are the votes? Labour can lose a hell of a lot of votes from some urban and northern constituencies and still carry the constituency. Has anyone looked at whether regaining the lost C2 and DE votes would actually translate to a parliamentary majority?

  23. alexsmith1982

    @johnmcternan Hi John. @LeftFootFwd did something on it which links to it http://bit.ly/9wyhmt

  24. Ed Miliband is the only candidate looking to expand Labour’s coalition | Liberal Conspiracy

    […] the two front-runners, only Ed Miliband is making any serious attempt to address why Labour lost so many votes since 1997. Labour lost 5 million voters, only 1m of which went to the Tories. Who will address […]

  25. Voters don't buy Coalition cuts - with nearly half blaming them for the deficit | Left Foot Forward

    […] is likely to be seen as encouraging by Labour figures, particularly Ed Miliband, who has announced his intention to regain the 3 million C2 and DE voters who dropped their support for Labour between […]

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