Ipsos-Mori has released its traditional post-election breakdown of how the country voted. As usual, all the voting intention figures are weighted according to the actual results, combined with turnout on a regional level.
There will many more of these kinds of surveys and investigations over the next few months and years, but few that will draw upon a similar size of data (9,000 respondents) and which can command such a historical pedigree (Ipsos-Mori has been publishing these post-election snapshots since 1979).
The figures show just how cleanly and efficiently the Conservatives managed to secure a victory.
Take age, for example. Labour led the Conservatives among 18-34 year olds, but in no other age group whatsoever. The Tories had an enormous 24-point lead among voters aged 65 and over:
There was a swing of 5.5% from Labour to the Conservatives among the 65+ age group. There was a bigger swing of 7.5% in the other direction among 18-24 year-olds. But only 43% of that age group bothered to vote, while a massive 78% of voters aged 65+ did.
The only social class in which Labour led the Conservatives was DEs:
The Tories had a 19-point lead over Labour among AB voters, where turnout was 75%. Turnout among DEs was just 57%.
When you split support on the basis of housing, it’s a similar picture:
Guess which of these groups saw the highest turnout? Of course: owners, 77% of whom voted. By contrast, a measly 51% of voters renting social housing cast a ballot.
When you analyse voting intention in this way, there’s no mystery why the Tories ended up with a majority. It got more people to support it – and got more of them to vote for it – than did Labour. The real mystery is why this wasn’t picked up by the opinion polls, and for the answer to that we’ll have to wait for the findings of the official inquiry, which will be published by next March.
The Conservatives held on to 82% of those who said they voted for the party in 2010; Labour managed to hold on to only 72%. But that’s a far sight better than the Lib Dems, who held on to barely a third of their 2010 vote, losing it in all directions: 24% to Labour, 20% to the Tories, 11% to the Greens and even 7% to Ukip. I’d like to meet the people who voted Lib Dem in 2010 but who have since travelled right across the spectrum and voted Ukip this year.
Ipsos-Mori’s research is a good starting point for better understanding what happened on 7 May. It’s also a good end point for this blog. I’m going to keep hold of this web address and may return to write about future elections. Next year promises a bounty of polls, including contests for the Scottish parliament, Welsh assembly, Northern Ireland assembly, London mayor, local councils and possibly the EU referendum as well. But for now I’d like to thank everyone who has looked at the blog and who has left comments over the past year. I hope you’ve enjoyed what you have found.