Skip to main content
Political mindsets

Winning over and delivering for low-income voters

With a general election and a new decade looming, this briefing shows how politicians can right the wrong of UK poverty, by addressing the acute concerns of low-income voters.

Written by:
Helen Barnard
Date published:

As we approach a general election and a new decade, we are on the cusp of a defining period in UK history, which will have an impact on people’s lives today and in future generations.

It is unacceptable that 14 million people are locked in poverty across the UK, including nearly one in three children, with child poverty rising in recent years despite commitments to address it. In the 2020s we must put this right. In a society that believes in compassion and justice, politicians must act to free people from poverty, and address the frustrations and concerns of low-income voters.

Low-income voters are looking to government to do more than deliver Brexit. They are weary of hearing unfulfilled promises from politicians – they want action to improve their local economies, to improve living standards, and for their voices and experience of living on a low income to be heard.

In this briefing, we have set out the first steps that politicians can take to show that they truly understand these voters’ concerns and are committed to unlocking opportunity and uniting the country. We show how the next government can loosen the grip of poverty as part of a bold and transformative mission to free people across our nation to prosper.

We recommend:

  • boosting local economies where employment and earnings are low through ambitious/large-scale long-term investment in skills and infrastructure
  • ensuring social security provides a stronger anchor in turbulent times, especially for families with children, by delivering on the commitment to end the benefit freeze, end the five-week wait for Universal Credit, and boosting support for children
  • unlocking affordable homes for people on low incomes, by building 90,000 homes a year for social rent and re-linking housing support with rents.

The next government has an opportunity to improve the lives of a substantial portion of our society, and to show that it cares about their concerns and well-being. In doing so, it could restore some trust in our political system among low-income voters.

Ballot papers being counted during an election.

This briefing is part of the political mindsets topic.

Find out more about our work in this area.

Discover more about political mindsets