Patrick Flynn

Charts and analysis: The Conservatives’ middle-aged problem and more

June 7, 2024

This post covers the results of our latest two voting intention polls, focusing on the views and priorities of different age groups.

Labour now leads with all working-age groups

Our most recent poll shows Labour ahead of the Conservatives with every working-age group. The crossover point at which a voter becomes more likely to vote Conservative than Labour is now 68, a massive 24-year increase from 2019.

The Conservatives’ middle-aged problem

To get a more detailed idea of where the Conservatives are losing votes, we have combined our most recent two polls to get a larger sample size of 2019 Conservative voters. We found that the Conservatives are holding onto just over half of those who backed them last time out, with a particular issue among 45–60 year olds. Their former voters’ main alternative depends closely on their age – a majority of departing under-50s have moved to Labour, whereas a majority of departing over-50s prefer Reform UK. Among the middle-aged, it seems, Rishi Sunak finds his party squeezed from both directions.

Which policies are cutting through?

We polled voters on their attitudes and awareness of various policies announced during the campaign. So far, no policy has achieved the ‘sweet spot’ of high public awareness and net positive support. The most well-known policy of the campaign is the Conservative plan to introduce national service, but the public gives it a net approval rating of -10, putting it into the ‘failures’ category. Only those aged 65+ gave the policy the seal of approval, albeit very narrowly (43% right priority, 40% wrong priority).

Both the Conservatives’ pension ‘triple-lock plus’ and Labour’s GB Energy scheme achieve high levels of public support (+46 and +39, respectively), but neither have achieved a high level of cut-through among the electorate yet. Unsurprisingly, the pension policy recorded almost overwhelming support from those of pension age, with just 6% of those aged 65+ thinking it is the wrong priority for the country.

Image of Rishi Sunak

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