Churn and gender gaps

Two things worth looking at elsewhere. The first is an article by Peter Kellner on churn. This is something I’ve been meaning to write about for sometime but never got round to, but Peter has now done the hardwork himself! I often see people taking about the next election from the starting assumption that Labour were at their low and so start from at least 30%, and that anyone who was going to vote Tory already did so they can’t get above 37%. Neither of these is true – not least, because current polls show the Conservatives already winning the support of some voters they didn’t have last time, and the Labour party already losing the support of some people who did vote for them last time. That’s not to underplay how difficult it would be for the Conservatives to increase their vote share, or that the partial demise of the Lib Dems has provided Labour with a good boost in support, just that it’s really not as simplistic as assuming Labour cannot lose any votes from last time, or that the Conservatives cannot gain votes… both are already happening to a great degree, it’s just when we look at the headline figures we only see the net effects of Labour up and Conservative down. In both cases there is actually plenty of movement in both directions.

The second, with no modesty whatsoever, is something I have written over on the YouGov website using the same aggregate YouGov data, in this case looking at the Conservative gender gap or, perhaps, its absence. This is something that will not go away, every couple of months a journalist pops up writing a column about how the Conservatives are doing worse amongst women, normally illustrated by ripping one single poll out of context that appears to show a gender gap. Looking at the wider polls, it doesn’t actually seem to exist. The aggregated monthly YouGov data in recent months has had the Conservatives on a solid 33% amongst men, and an equally solid 33% amongst women. No difference. The gap amongst women is bigger, but that appears to be because Labour do better amongst women and UKIP do worse.

At first site all the fuss about the Tory women problem is complete nonsense, but dig a little deeper and the Conservatives do appear to have a problem with some women. Specifically the Conservatives do worse amongst women than men amongst under 40s (and Labour the other way round). The reason the Tories don’t do any worse with women overall is that as you move up the age ranges the pattern reverses, so that amongst over 60s the Conservatives do better amongst women than amongst men. I’m guessing the latter is because of UKIP (who seem to appeal to men more than women, and whose support is heavily skewed towards older people), while the former is presumably because the Tories do have some sort of problem appealing to younger women (or… logically equally likely… Labour have some sort of problem appealing to younger men).

574 Responses to “Churn and gender gaps”

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    @”Anyway I wasn’t trying to make a point,”

    Nor was I


  2. @ Paul Bristol,

    Does that mean the Lib Dems have the smallest willies or the most considerate lovers?

    To borrow a joke from Spitting Image, Lib Dems make the best lovers because they’re so used to coming last.

  3. CB11

    @”You may well know some of these politicians and economists, but they seem to be in very scarce supply to me.”

    I have no doubt personally that we have much to learn from German Industrial policy.

    But on the cynical note central to your post, and in context of the criticism you & others direct at the sources of UK growth currently-perhaps we can share a wry smile at reports that the criticism of low consumer demand component in Germany is being addressed as , households are expanding their spending on consumption and on home construction.

    One weak link in the German economy which I am sure Conservatives in Government are focused on is high energy prices. We certainly don’t want to replicate their energy policy -a product of Germany’s Green Party influence I believe.

  4. Happy Valentines day everyone,but I think I will stay out of the current discussion.Pelting with rain again.

  5. I think there’s a lot to like about Germany’s energy policy, not least the levels of community ownership.

  6. Wythenshawe and Sale result looks adequate for Labour; it’s not good enough to brag about or bad enough to cause concern. I actually think it was quite good for the Lib Dems despite the collapse in vote share- they beat the Greens and came within inches of saving a deposit in a Manchester seat! The Ukip performance wasn’t fantastic, but it’s not bad from a standing start. The problem is they let people (including their own people) think they were in a position to challenge Labour, so 17% now looks like a failure.

    The Tories should be a little worried, though. They couldn’t hold off Ukip even in Sale. Does this throw Altrincham and Sale West into contention? I would have thought it was completely safe, but if Ukip can split the Tory vote this effectively and Labour can poach all the Lib Dems, could it become vulnerable?

  7. @Colin

    “But on the cynical note central to your post,”

    Not cynical, but a tad sarcastic maybe. I might have misread the tone of your post too, but I thought I detected a little of the economic virility test about your growth rate comparisons between the UK economy and Germany’s. We may well be expanding faster than Germany at present, albeit from a much lower base and after a much longer and deeper contraction (a “snap back” as I think economists call it), but we shouldn’t delude ourselves that our economy, or the basis of our recovery, is stronger than Germany’s on the basis of the current higher growth figure.

    I agree with you about the industrial policy of Germany, some thirty years or more in the making, and their balance of payments performance vis-a-vis the UK’s points to their strength over our weakness in terms of manufacturing and exports. I don’t know enough about their energy policy to comment, to be honest, but I suspect they are likely to be much more interventionist than our current government if this needs to be addressed. The fact that they have a centre right government, albeit now in coalition with a centre left party, shouldn’t lead anybody to conclude that the social and economic policies of the German and UK governments are in any way aligned.

    If I may say so, I think Carfew was teasing you a little about the recent reported growth in the French economy. [Snip]

  8. Isn’t the lesson from the penis polling that, if you get into bed with the Tories then you are screwed?

  9. “Really?”

    Yes. Part of the attraction could be how worked up about it the Telegraph has become.

  10. @COLIN

    “Nor was I”


    lol, That’s a given, Col…

  11. “No probs. Germany are on the up too…”

    Have we finished with the YG poll or are we now making international comparisons?

  12. @Postage

    Yes, when you put it that way, there do appear to be some more similarities.

    No ukip though…

  13. That Ashcroft poll in Wythenshawe and Sale about a week ago was pretty good, wasn’t it? Bang on for the Tories (14%) and Lib Dems (5%), and just a little out on the Labour and UKIP shares. It overcooked Labour (61 vs 55) and undercooked UKIP by a small margin (15 v 18), but by-election polling is notoriously unreliable and, in fairness to Ashcroft’s resident pollster (Populus?), I’d say that was a darned good effort.

    Makes you think his marginal seats polling might be pretty accurate too.

  14. @ Spearmint

    “Wythenshawe and Sale result looks adequate for Labour; . . .. I actually think it was quite good for the Lib Dems despite the collapse in vote share- they beat the Greens and came within inches of saving a deposit in a Manchester seat!”

    Um. . . Lib-Dems nearly doubled their vote in the constituency from 2001 to 22.0% in 2010 election & scored under 5% in this one.

    They hold 3 of the nearly 30 Greater Manchester seats, (having lost Oldham to Labour in 2011 by-election.)
    They have generally built up their vote here from 1990s onwards, came 2nd in a number of seats in 2010; & did not lose one deposit.
    Of the 3 Lib-Dem seats, one looks certain to go to Labour; in the other 2 [leafier] seats, Tories are second & Lab well behind, the result of long-term tactical voting.
    Since 2010, however, Lab have done v. well in council elections in these 2 constituencies & Lib-Dems v badly; but Lab have too far to go. A 2015 reversal of tactical voting, if it occurred, could allow the Tories to gain one of these two seats.

    The Tories have 2 seats.
    Altrincham looks safe, as you say. Bury North [Nuttall] could be lost. He has but a 5% majority & is a large Lib-Dem third-place vote for Lab to demlolish & UKIP/BNP got 7% in this seat in 2010.

  15. It may be just me, but I’ve been staring at this thread title for so long that I’m starting to read “Gurn and Chender Gaps”!

    We need another poll to generate a new thread. One showing the Tories neck and neck, perhaps?


  16. From the Telegraph…

    “The Prime Minister has apologised for the suffering caused by the flooding and storms that have struck the country, as forecasters warn of a “terrible day” of snow, heavy rain and high winds.

    David Cameron said he was “very sorry” for the way people have suffered in the storms, and said a “massive national effort” was underway to protect homes as floodwaters rise in coming days.

    The PM warned that flooding would take a toll on the economy, following predictions by analysts that the bad weather could knock as much as one per cent off national output.

    He indicated that 550 jobs at the Environment Agency that were expected to go would be saved for now.

    Asked whether he would repeat Communities Secretary Eric Pickles’ apology for the Government’s early response to the crisis, Mr Cameron said: “Of course I am very sorry for any way that people have suffered.”

  17. @Crossbat11

    “We need another poll to generate a new thread. One showing the Tories neck and neck, perhaps?”

    So that means 39% for the Tories as well then.

  18. @Spearmint

    I don’t think the Lib Dems will gain much comfort from the W and ES result.
    After years of gradually increasing their share of seats on Manchester city council, the Lib Dems have lost every ward they have defended since 2010. Apres the elections in May, it is likely there will be no Lib Dem councillors left and Labour will hold all 80 + seats .

  19. And perhaps a new thread will mean an end of the “mine’s bigger than yours” banter.

    One can only hope.

  20. CB – Girth and Ends can chap

    Did have a small Penis diversion this morning afterall!!

  21. Oh Jim jam
    thought better of you :-)

  22. Yes it’s all a bit fruity on this thread with all this girth talk and both Spearmint and Crossbat messing with Carfrew’s r’s

    It’s an economic decision rather than a technical one. The point of factoring in the 5 or 20 or 50 year high flood level, done on the basis of past record but possibly now requiring adjustment for climate change, is that it allows you to reckon the cost against the benefit of never again suffering the losses which high floods create. How big will be the continued losses in housing, infrastructure and lost economic activity. This is done against cost to the householders, cost to local authorities, to business and to the economy. What the Government can’t do is shrug its shoulders. In the present case the question is does money no object mean compensation for losses of and restoration of private homes, payments to local authorities for restoration and permanent changes to infrasture? No, apparently, only “relief”. But it cannot be let undone, and this is – as per Orleans – a Government responsibility.

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