Conservatives lead by 12 among Over-60s

William JordanUS Elections Editor
March 07, 2015, 9:26 AM GMT+0

An analysis of monthly voting intention data reveals the Tories hold a solid lead with a key voting group

Ed Miliband’s bid to expand benefits for pensioners has highlighted the battle to win the “grey vote” – old age pensioners, who besides making up a large chunk of the electorate, are as a group far likelier to cast a vote come election day when compared to young people.

Voting intentions within individual demographic groups (like Over-60s, people in the North or women) can be volatile on daily surveys, but a re-weighted aggregation of the data for an entire month gives a much clearer – and more robust – analysis.

In the past analysis like this revealed the surge in support for the Green party among young people. Now YouGov can reveal a very different picture for voters on the other end of the age spectrum: in February 2015, four in ten Over-60s said they intended to vote Conservative, up two points from January and 12 points ahead of Labour, who are on 28% with the age group.

The Greens fell from 4% in January to 3%, similar to the 2% they received in February 2014. Support for UKIP stayed at 19 points, around where it has been all year.

This month is tied with December for the largest Conservative lead with Over-60s over the past 12 months, but overall the picture is one of stability. Every single major party has remained within a range of three points in the monthly aggregations going back to February 2014 (the extent of this analysis). The Conservative party have stayed between 37 and 40; Labour 27-30; UKIP 18-21; the Liberal Democrats 6-8; and the Greens 1-4.

Comparing the monthly numbers for Over-60s to the numbers for all Over-18s (the topline figures) reveals that opinion among older voters has changed at roughly the same pace as opinion among the larger electorate over the past year. In February 2014, the Conservatives lead among Over-60s has increased by 4 points since February 2014, from 8 to 12. It has increased by a comparable 5 points among all adults, from -6 to -1.

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See the data for Over-60s and all GB adults