Research indicates decline in support for Labour among ‘blue-collar working groups’

5th June, 2014 11:30 am

The Fabians have published figures that show declining support for Labour among ‘blue-collar working groups’.

Election data expert Ian Warren has found that between 2005-2014, support for Labour has dropped in five key groups: transient single populations in routine occupations; low income families; comfortably off industrial workers; middle-aged working couples with young children and older couples in former council estates or low value housing.


It looks like the biggest fall in Labour support came from industrial workers who own their home. And many (but by no means all) of people from these groups are migrating to UKIP.

The implication is that Labour aren’t doing enough to unpick UKIP’s inflammatory anti-immigration rhetoric because when asked whether they are comfortable living in close proximity to people from different cultures and backgrounds people within these groups are more likely to say no. This proves once again that the threat from the anti-EU, anti-immigration party has taken hold in Labour as well as Tory heartlands.

It’s also worth pointing out that the loss of Labour supporters amongst these groups could also come down to the fact that many simply aren’t voting at all.

This fall in support could have a serious impact on the general election results because, Warren explains, in many constituencies which Labour is targeting in 2015 almost a half of all households are comprised of these groups.

Given these statistics, Miliband’s response to the Queen’s Speech yesterday, which outlined just how seriously Labour are taking the electorates’ disconnect from party politics, is surely welcome.

But a year away from the general election, there’s still much to be done to address peoples’ discontent.

Value our free and unique service?

LabourList has more readers than ever before - but we need your support. Our dedicated coverage of Labour's policies and personalities, internal debates, selections and elections relies on donations from our readers.

If you can support LabourList’s unique and free service then please click here.

To report anything from the comment section, please e-mail [email protected]
  • MikeHomfray

    But if that really is their view its not likely that our policies are going to be attractive

  • Doug Smith

    The Labour Party dumped it’s core and now the core vote is beginning to respond by dumping the Labour Party.

    It’s only a matter of time before the safe-seat, job-for-life, careerist-laden gravy train hits the buffers.

    My only hope is that, post-2015, decent Labour MPs abandon the Labour Party and commence building a viable alternative to the LibLabCon before, through association with an increasingly toxic Labour Party, their situation becomes irretrievable.

  • Edward Carlsson Browne

    There may be something to it, but I’m inclined to doubt the reliability of much of this data. There’s very little evidence of 2005 to 2010 decline amongst these groups (which doesn’t ring true) and in 4 out of 5 cases there’s a decline between 2010 and 2012. This meshes extremely poorly with opinion polling, especially since our best results in 2012 were in places like Dudley with high concentrations of these demographics.

    • Yes. But I think I’d be inclined to go a little further. One of the most important rules of psephology is if the patterns in a survey don’t match up with observable electoral reality, then that survey is *almost certainly* utterly and entirely worthless.

  • MonkeyBot5000

    My research indicates that Labour stopped caring about us before we stopped voting for them.

  • EricBC

    ”…when asked whether they are comfortable living in close proximity to people from different cultures and backgrounds people within these groups are more likely to say no”.

    And you think, ”unpick(ing) UKIP’s inflammatory anti-immigration rhetoric” is going to help? Fat chance. Are you suggesting these strongly held opinions were formed as a consequence of UKIP rhetoric? Really?

    • Michelle

      Couldn’t agree more. What should labour do to win these core voters back, try to out kip UKIP? Come out with stronger anti immigration rhetoric. Frankly I’d rather we lost the election then sold our soul to the devil in this way. If people think they’ve found a respectable anti immigration party to vote for, one they don’t have to be embarrassed about like the BNP, I think there’s damn all labour can do about it! People have sadly been waiting for this for years.

    • treborc1

      I think the Tories promise of an EU voter will be a major winner. Labour inability to trust people is showing again and the inability to allow the people to have a choice, it’s an old issue with labour they know what is best for us.

  • swatnan

    Bad news for Labour, which means that the Party will have to reinvent itself.
    But then all Parties are in that same tricky situation where long held allegiancies and tribal loyalties are breaking down and people are refusing to be taken for granted anymore. Perhaps the power has been handed to the people as it should have been and they should use it wisely. But will they. And do they know how to exercise that power in the interests of all, not just themselves.

  • What hacks me off is when you guys keep going on about hardworking families as if cos you are single like me we dont work hard. Keep saying that and I switch off. Plus I dont like the way some of you guys sort of say if you dont agree with them you are not as clever as yourself or we are not educated. Quite a few ppl on here have said that about ppl who voted for Ukip
    Plus all the partys seem to copy each other there isnt a lot of difference in the ideas they have

  • Charlie_Mansell

    Mosaic is excellent at telling us ‘who’ is doing ‘what’. Lots more on each group in 2,000 pages – a 35mb download here: However if you want to know the ‘why’. Nick Pecorelli’s IPPR pamphlet groups all those declining groups together in terms of their motivational values: A big problem is that when asked these groups say they feel ‘discriminated against’ and so far our cost of living message has not resonated with them. We need to start by acknowledging their own feelings of discrimination and pledge to do something about it before we can start crafting a policy message to reach out to them

  • nana

    not all who voted UKIP are racist bigots,or ill educated.they have been ignored by
    labour as this report suggests.they don’t ‘knock’ on these people’s doors.many have been activists,and members.they have hit labour in the ballot box.the vile abuse they
    receive only makes people want to do the same in 2015.they voted at 21,and still no thank you.just abuse.

  • Daniel Speight

    Dear Labour leadership if you want the support of these groups you should try to make the PLP look a little more like them. Of course it could well be that you think having a PLP made up of Oxbridge and City of London members will bring in more votes. Be interesting to see if you are correct.

  • jimmy

    no matter how disollusioned you are with NEW Labour it doesnt make sense to jump at the new facist right UKIP who are everything that labour supporters should loath. if you feel that labour deserted you then do something about it – get into the constituency and fight for the labour that you will support ! its not someone elses job to fix your problem with plitics its yours ! take responsibility for it and deal with it yourself

  • uxx

    Not surprising really. Voters want someone they can relate to ( and who can relate to them ) and trust. What they have got is the same old faces who were part of the problem last time round, with the blairite vultures circling to see what they can pick up from the remains. and a prospective PM with no voter appeal, and who, apparently, no one including his own party really likes.
    And they wonder why they are struggling !!
    There is little hope for the future of democracy in this country as long as the semi – professional class of politicians, of all party continue.
    The voters know this and have lost interest in a failed system.
    I am 79, a former Labour party member, trade unionist and TUC delegate, and for the first time in my life I am seriously considering not voting next time – assuming I am still around to do so.

  • Chris Hobson

    Labour has no chance with the proleteriat vanishing.

  • derekemery

    There an ever increasing disconnect between the three major parties and the public which is illustrated by the ever declining number who are paid up members. There is far more in common between the elite who run the three parties than there with to the public.

    Part of the cause of the ever widening gap is the handing over of more and more control of policies to the EU which now determines around 70% of all legislation.

    The EU public are not central Europeans and will never think like them and EU laws can be guaranteed to grate on the ordinary UK public psyche and do. I exclude the clones who run the three parties because they in no way think like the ordinary public.

    You are not going to be able to educate the public to think like the metro-sexual clones in charge in the UK. That is a lost cause because it will never pass the “what’s in it for me” test because they have nothing to gain as they are on the downside of the clone’s policy effects.

    The clones plus the EU and big business have created an ever-widening gap which UKIP is now moving into as rapaidly as possible. Farage sees booming opportunities for UKIP in Labour districts. I doubt this will be flash in the pan because none of the three parties can offer anything policies of any value to those who are leaving existing parties.


LabourList Daily Email

Everything Labour. Every weekday morning

Share with your friends