Are you a ‘have’ or ‘have not’?

October 06, 2011, 4:09 PM GMT+0

Sometimes, people talk about Britain as being made up of ‘the haves’ and ‘the have nots’ – often used as bywords to loosely describe those who are more privileged, and those who are not. We asked the British public which group they feel they fit into, and our poll has revealed that more people would describe themselves as a ‘have not’ than ‘a have’.

  • 42% of British people class themselves as ‘have nots’
  • Meanwhile, 33% consider themselves to be ‘haves’
  • 25% say they do not know

Perhaps unsurprisingly given the relative affluence of much of the region, Londoners are more likely to place themselves into the ‘haves’ category than people from other parts of the nation, while people living further north of the country are more likely to say that they are ‘have nots’.

  • 42% of Londoners consider themselves ‘haves’, along with 34% from the rest of the South, 35% from Scotland, 29% from the North and 28% from the Midlands and Wales
  • Only 29% of Londoners consider themselves to be ‘have nots’, compared to a national average of 42%, and a high of 48% in the North of England

Older people are also more likely to view themselves as ‘have nots’ compared to their younger counterparts.

  • 49% of people aged between 40 and 59, and 45% of those over 60 classify themselves as ‘have nots’, compared to 37% of 25-39 year olds and only 26% of 18-24 year olds
  • 18-24 year olds are twice as likely (38%) to answer ‘Don’t know’ as those over 60 (19%)

There is also a political divide, with Labour supporters more likely to consider themselves ‘have nots’ than supporters of the two other main parties, and Conservatives more likely to class themselves among the ‘haves’.

  • A majority (54%) of Labour supporters classify themselves as ‘have nots’, against 30% of Liberal Democrat supporters and 28% of Conservative supporters
  • While 43% of Conservatives and Liberal Democrats call themselves ‘haves’ in comparison to just 26% of Labour supporters

Tough economic times

The idea that the British population can be divided into ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ is not new, but the issue is particularly relevant given today’s precarious political and economic climate.

The results come against a backdrop of continuing economic uncertainty and the announcement that UK growth in the first quarter of this financial year was ‘slower than previously thought’. The findings also come in light of the Conservative Party conference, at which Work and Pensions Secretary Ian Duncan Smith claimed that the current Government had inherited the worst income inequality levels in over 50 years. Similarly, reports have suggested that the current rich-poor divide in the UK is at its widest point since the 1970s, with pay packets for those earning in the top 10% of wages having increased four times higher than those for the lowest-paid workers in recent decades.

See the survey details and full results here