and if you do…will anything happen?

The British Election Study is back and it’s very interesting indeed. Here’s the key chart.


The pink zone is essentially people who were convinced by Labour but not motivated to go and vote. Either mobilisation fell dramatically in 2010-2015, or else we managed to turn a lot of heads, but not get them to turn out. The BES commentary says:

The evidence in the BES suggests that the reason for the increased impact of differential turnout is not due to a change in the relative enthusiasm between Labour and Conservative supporters since 2010. 84% of Labour supporters in 2015 said that it was “very likely” that they would vote, compared to 86% of Conservative supporters, while in 2010 the figures were 87% and 90% respectively. Rather the data suggest that the increase in the turnout gap between Labour and the Conservatives can be explained by shifts in party support amongst those who are actually less likely to turnout to vote, even if they say they will. This evidence strongly suggests that differential turnout was a major factor in the polling miss.

The people we successfully addressed agreed, but they didn’t believe anything would happen. Emerging low-trust society, how are ya.

Also, perhaps that database of Shapps’s worked better than we (or they) thought. Mobilisation was a big, big part of our problem, so it is not surprising the mobilisation-first strategy failed. That said, good luck with the option of trying to get as few people as possible to vote!


4 Comments on "and if you do…will anything happen?"

  1. This seems consistent with other sources, which suggest that the demise of the LibDems (and the demise of the associated hopey – changey excitement) led to a decline in “youth” turnout.

    There’s also an interesting piece of research I’ve seen (only on paper so far) that suggests homeowners came out to vote and renters didn’t. The focus grouping suggests that amongst other things there was a belief that the Tories would raise inheritance tax thresholds…


  2. Gahhh. My main reason for screwing the pooch on my election prediction was a belief that the SNP had got a load of support of exactly this sort from the referendum. Right mechanism, wrong party.


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