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Political mindsets

UK 2017 General Election vote examined: income, poverty and Brexit

This report looks at how those struggling to get by and marginalized voted at the 2017 UK General Election.

Written by:
Matthew Goodwin and Oliver Heath
Date published:

This report shows:

  • The Conservatives appealed to many lower income voters’ support for Brexit and immigration control. Labour instead appealed to these voters’ economic concerns over living standards, redistribution, inequality and austerity.
  • Many voters who are struggling to get by and marginalized may agree with the vote for Brexit and calls to curb immigration, but were more likely to vote for Labour because of their desire for economic redistribution and to endorse Labour’s anti-austerity platform.
  • Labour’s pitch to low income voters, and those in poverty, was a key driver of its performance at the 2017 election, but no political party made a major and clear breakthrough with these groups.

The priorities for the main political parties are:

  • Both of the main parties would be well advised to take the economic concerns of these key groups seriously and to keep them as much on the centre stage of British politics as possible.
Ballot papers being counted during an election.

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