Voting intentions have changed dramatically since 2010, suggests poll

Before the 2010 election YouGov interviewed 31,210 people and has recently reinterviewed them. The change in voting intentions is remarkable.

Since the 2010 election there have been three major trends in British politics: firstly, the rise of UKIP, secondly the rise of the SNP and thirdly the collapse of the Lib Dems, which can be paired with the growth in Green support.

The mass poll, interviewing over 31,000 people highlights just how much has shifted in five years.

The rise of UKIP

Where is UKIP support coming from? Unsurprisingly, the answer is that most UKIP voters have come from the Conservatives, but still less than half. 39% of 2015 UKIP supporters came from the Conservatives, whilst 14% voted UKIP last time.

Furthermore, 13% supported Labour in 2010, whilst 15% supported the Liberal Democrats. The latter is arguably partly a protest vote, assuming that UKIP have replaced the Lib Dems as the party of protest.

SNP surge

The SNP’s rise has been dramatic. Before the referendum, most Scots planned to vote Labour in the Westminster election, but afterwards, everything changed. Here’s a breakdown of the SNP results:

  • 41% of those who are voting SNP in 2015 voted for them in 2010
  • 29% of those planning to vote SNP supported Labour in 2010, showing just how dramatic the shift has been
  • 19% voted Liberal Democrat and 6% voted Conservative

Clearly, the biggest change in support in Scotland has been from Labour to the SNP. This shows how tough a fight Jim Murphy's party has.

Liberal Democrat collapse and rise of the Greens

What about the Liberal Democrats? As mentioned already a chunk of Lib Dem support moved to UKIP. Furthermore, of those planning to vote Labour in 2010, 19% were former Lib Dems. In fact just 67% of those planning on voting Labour voted for the party in 2010, showing that the party has made progress since Gordon Brown’s defeat.

But back to the Liberal Democrats, it appears that it’s no coincidence that the party has collapsed whilst the Greens have made gains: 56% of those intending to vote Green in May voted for Nick Clegg’s party back in 2010, clearly suggesting that many Lib Dems have shifted towards the Greens as a result of the coalition government.

17 days until the election

Overall, the polling indicates clear shifts in opinion that will impact the election in May. The dramatic shifts in Scotland will likely put the SNP in a powererful position come May the 8th, whilst moves towards UKIP and the fall of the Lib Dems will affect seats across the country.

The election looks like it will be a tight race between the Conservatives and Labour to become the largest party, but it is arguably the shifts towards the smaller parties that is more interesting.

The full results of the polls can be found here.


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