Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Right Wing Britain

The British Social Attitudes Survey from NatCen is published today and it is showing that the British Public are trending to the political right in the polls. Notably, for the first time in since 1989 more people described themselves as Conservative voters than as a Labour voter.

Here are three interesting write ups which make for interesting reading:

Tim Whitehead - Britain Has Grown More Conservative Under Labour

Janet Daley - Public Opinion Moves To The Right

Jerome Taylor - On The Right And Right-On: A Portrait Of Britain Today

And in case you haven't the time or motivation, here are a few of the talking points from the surveys results.
  • An increasing number of people are abandoning the idea that The Government is the right place and tool for targeting inequality in society.
  • People are dropping traditional party lines and looking for the adoption of individualistic approaches to politics and the economy.
  • 32% Say they are Conservative voters, 27% say they are Labour voters.
  • People want a more inclusive and tolerant society, but favour a reduction in the state and tax cuts as the way to achieve this.
  • Only 40% questioned now support higher taxes. Was 62% in in 1997. Just over 50% think taxes should remain static.
  • Only 40% favour the use of tax as a method of wealth redistribution. Was 53% in 1994.
  • Only 55% now say the taxpayer and the Government should provide those without a job a good standard of living. Was 85% 20 years ago. Only 21% think unemployment benefits are too low.
  • People believe lone parents with children of school age should have work conditions attached to benefit.
  • 70% of people think "we should respect all religions", including 60% who class themselves as non-believers.
  • Only 56% consider it a civic duty to vote in General Elections.
Initial conclusions.
1. David Cameron's Conservatives are locating themselves on the centre ground of 10 years ago, with the suggestion rather than the promise of tax cuts, Modern Britain is ready to be wooed by a more right-wing Conservative approach.
2. It comes as no surprise to those of us not based in Westminster to know that Labour is discredited and disliked through most of the land. Yes they will maintain pockets of support in traditional areas, and yes London is probably still more attached to Labour than the rest of Southern England. But, the survey confirms peoples attitudes are shifting away from the Socialist mindset the country is believed to have had at heart. It is a reduction in the State that is sought, with compassion for those who need help in mind, people want a different approach to society's problems. The Left will need to come up with a new model for Government would it wish to return to power in Westminster.
3. 41% of people do not consider themselves as a Conservative or Labour voter.

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