Why are Britons voting Labour?

Sarah LedouxDoctoral Researcher, Political Analytics team
Matthew SmithHead of Data Journalism
July 03, 2024, 11:04 AM GMT+0

To get the Tories out

As we stand on the cusp of the 2024 general election, YouGov has been asking voters their main reason for backing their party of choice.

Over the course of this election YouGov has used our new AI-powered language model to track which news stories have been achieving the greatest cut through with the general public, which we have now turned to the task of uncovering voter motivations.

During late June, we asked more than 3,500 Britons who said they intended to vote Labour what the one main or biggest reason for them doing so was. Respondents were asked an open question and answered in their own words, which our AI-powered language model has subsequently categorised into the themes below.

The answer is resounding – by far the most common response is “to get the Tories out”, which 48% of expectant Labour voters gave. Even the second most common answer option – which scored a distant 13% – echoes the sentiment, with this group of Labour voters saying their top motivation is that “the country needs a change”.

The desire to oust the Tories is paramount wherever Labour’s voters are coming from – including those who are doing so having elected a Conservative government in 2019. More than four in ten (44%) of those who voted Tory five years ago and who are now voting for Labour say that their main reason for doing so is to remove the Conservatives from power.

Relatively few gave an affirmative answer for their main reason for backing Labour – 5% said it was because they agreed with their policies (the third most common answer overall), while 4% said it was to support the NHS and reduce waiting times.

Of course, this question forces respondents to distil their motivations into a narrow answer. Asking people to say all of their top-of-mind reasons for backing the party would yield a broader, perhaps slightly less top-heavy, range.

But what is clear is that a driving force behind the expected Labour landslide is a strong desire to remove the Conservatives from power – a sentiment that will have implications Keir Starmer, who must keep the public behind his party over the coming years when that motivation is gone.

See the full results here

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Photo: Getty