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.

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.

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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…

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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?

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