Poll shows potential Labour voters back bold policies but wary of left framing

Sienna Rodgers
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Voters who would consider opting for Labour at an election marginally say they prefer centrist to left-wing policies – but overwhelmingly favour going bold when asked about specific measures, exclusive polling for LabourList reveals.

Research conducted for LabourList ahead of a fringe event at Labour conference, ‘Why Labour Needs To Go Bold’, suggests that there is a “public desire for big change”, according to Survation’s Carl Shoben.

Asked whether they most closely identify with more left-wing or more centrist-style policies, 46% of survey respondents who intend to vote Labour or would consider doing so selected the former and 54% the latter option.

65% of the current and potential Labour voters also favoured more distance from Conservative Party policies.

74% of the same group chose a greater commitment to public ownership over less of a commitment to public ownership, while just 26% said the opposite. Similarly, 78% chose greater wealth redistribution over less, versus 22%.

Asked whether “the economy is rigged against ordinary people” or it is “not rigged”, 69% said it was and 31% said they thought it was not, indicating that there is significant levels of dissatisfaction with the economy among these voters.

Yet a question about wanting to “radically change the current economic model” or to “modestly” change it produced evenly balanced results: 51% opted for the radical option and the remaining 49% opted for the non-radical one.

Asked whether they would rather “vote for Labour if they offered big changes to society” or “vote for Labour only if they offered small changes to society”, however, 69% chose for bigger rather than smaller changes.

“That doesn’t mean people are going to vote for socialism, because we know from bitter experience that they don’t,” Shoben told the panel event. But he added that this benefits “the party that taps into that dissatisfaction”.

The panel, chaired by journalist Rachel Shabi, saw Shoben, plus Labour MPs John McDonnell, Kim Johnson and Barry Gardiner, and Caerphilly Council leader Philippa Marsden explored how the party can attain electoral success.

Polling by Survation for LabourList. Fieldwork conducted 21st-22nd September 2021. Poll of 1,060 residents aged 18+ living in the UK. Full tables available.

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