Research by Populus has revealed that female voters are far less supportive of the coalition government across a range of topics, compared to male voters.
Research by Populus has revealed that female voters are far less supportive of the coalition government across a range of topics, compared to male voters. The gender gap is widest on spending cuts, with a small majority of men supporting the government, and a majority of women saying it is handling cuts badly.
Since June, as the extent of the cuts agenda has become clear, support for the spending cuts amongst women has dropped by 32 percentage points. Speaking at a fringe event at the Labour Party conference Andrew Cooper, founder of Populus, revealed the findings from a survey carried out earlier this month.
Support for the government’s handling of the economy overall has dropped amongst women but risen amongst men. A majority of men think the government is handling the war in Afghanistan well, while a majority of women report that the government is handling the campaign badly.
Populus also asked voters whether they would have changed their general election vote in light of the past few months. While 88 per cent of Labour voters and 82 per cent of Conservative voters would not have changed their vote with the benefit of hindsight, only 61 per cent of those who supported the Liberal Democrats said they would have voted the same way.
Twenty-two percent of Liberal Democrat voters would have voted for Labour instead, had they known then what they know now.
The data from the survey gives new insights into the reasons behind Labour’s defeat at the general election. Perceptions of competence and leadership dropped sharply for Labour after Gordon Brown’s brief 2007 honeymoon, and the Conservatives gained credibility.
Between 2007-10 a Labour lead of 17 percentage points on competence over the Conservatives was exactly reversed, so Labour now trail by 17 points.Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.