Lead data journalist

Their views are largely the same as those of middle class Brits

With Donald Trump’s state visit to the UK now on its second day, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn came in for criticism yesterday for boycotting a state banquet hosted by the Queen at Buckingham Palace in the president’s honour.

Trade union official Paul Embery tweeted that the move would “go down a storm among middle-class, liberal Londoners. Among working-class northerners, not so much”, while ITV’s Robert Peston wrote “Corbyn is not doing himself any favours with those working class voters he claims to so desperately wish to retain in the Labour fold, and on whose behalf he refuses to recast Labour as the Referendum and Remain Party.”

The problem with all this is that working class Britons’ views on Donald Trump are only marginally more positive than those of Britain’s middle class – and neither group are fans of the US president.

According to YouGov Ratings data, while 25% of working class people have a positive view of Donald Trump, so too do 20% of middle class people. And fully 62% of Britain’s working class have a negative view of the US President, compared to 67% of the middle class.

Looking specifically at working class northerners (as per Embery’s claim) the figure that like Trump stands at only 23%, and falls to 19% among the working class who voted Labour in 2017.

By contrast, Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama is liked by 68% of all working class Britons, including the same number of working class Northerners and 73% of working class Labour voters.

Of course, not liking Donald Trump is not the same as thinking it is right to boycott his banquet. While we do not have data on that very specific question, we can make inferences from a YouGov Profiles dataset which asked in April whether Britons supported or opposed Donald Trump visiting the UK in the first place.

The data shows 44% of working class Brits opposed the visit, with only 35% in support. Among middle class Britons those figures are 50% and 33% respectively. Figures among working class northerners are identical to those of working class Brits as a whole, while 60% of working class Labour voters opposed the trip compared to 21% who supported.

Photo: Getty

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