Pollster quashes fallacy that Labour voters are working class Leavers

PUBLISHED: 16:44 18 June 2019 | UPDATED: 18:39 18 June 2019

Pollsters have quashed the Labour fallacy that its voters are mostly working-class Leavers. Picture: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Pollsters have quashed the Labour fallacy that its voters are mostly working-class Leavers. Picture: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

A pollster has taken apart the notion that Labour's voters are mostly working-class Leavers in a Twitter thread after it became a talking point on television and social media.

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Labour MP for Bassetlaw, John Mann, claimed on BBC's Newsnight that while the party's members may be middle-class Remainers, its voters are mostly working-class Leavers.

"Labour hasn't dealt with that," said Mann.

But after the fallacy was retweeted approvingly by Telegraph columnist Allison Pearson, polling company YouGov was quick to rebut it.

They tweeted a chart showing that, from their polling, only 15% of Labour's 2017 voters were working class Leavers - while 46% were middle class Remainers.

Moreover, Labour's working class Remain vote beats the same group's Leave voters at 20%.

YouGov pollster Chris Curtis took it further in an insightful thread.

"I genuinely don't know how many times this has to be pointed out before people will listen," he said.

"Do you know what happens when you decide that these hideous middle-class Remainers are not worthy enough to be Labour voters?" he added. "You tumble to your lowest ever polling score and come behind the Lib Dems in a national election."

He fleshed out the picture further by pointing out that Labour's 'potential' voters, and the party's 'at risk' voters', are all mostly Remainers.

He said that the reason Labour MPs tend to believe the fallacy is that "they spend their weekends walking around estates where their vote was based 20 years ago, getting shouted at by angry people who would never vote for them again anyway".

Polling, he said, gets the views of people beyond the "doorstep-yellers".

But Labour MP for Wigan, Lisa Nandy, hit back in a thread, which Curtis retweeted, saying that the party's direction doesn't just factor in Brexit views.

"These spreadsheets only tell a partial story," she said. "We're not as out of touch as you suggest.

"We're just not short-term electorally calculating machines and we think a lot about the long term prospects for our communities and the country."

Read Curtis' full thread on Twitter here.

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