Opinion Polls show Clegg leading Miliband with younger voters to get rid of this corruption
20 July 2011 4 Comments
A major pillar of appeal Clegg gave the electorate at the General Election, in the shadows of the expenses scandal, was that the Lib Dems are the party to clean up British Politics. With the election of Ed Miliband he has sought to attract this vote from the Lib Dems opening up new battlegrounds between the parties. ComRes have some interesting findings on this issue worth highlighting as they are buried and have not seen much airtime.
On the face of it, the result that 8% think Clegg is the man to get rid of corruption in politics compared to 12% for Miliband and 24% for Cameron, is not good news. However, this is wholly consistent with low poll ratings of the perceived talent of the Lib Dems and confirms the general trend.
However, what is interesting is the scores of those aged 18 – 34. Following the tuition fees debacle there has been a fear that this would decimate Clegg’s ratings with the younger voters and Miliband has attempted to attract this vote throughout his leadership. Liberal Conspiracy wrote about the Lib Dem vote being lower than that for UKIP amongst younger voters earlier this year and so it is clearly a worry. Yet, now Clegg leads Miliband with 18-24 year olds and they are equal with 25-34 year olds.
While this can be as a result of so many factors it is hard to pinpoint exactly why so many younger voters still believe in Clegg, but it is still an interesting one which Clegg and the Lib Dems can build on, even in Government. While there are reports that younger people are more liberal than older people (who tend to become more conservative as they get older), this is not necessarily shown in the research.
There is limited support for the idea that voters necessarily become more conservative as they age. Instead, most argue that much of the difference between older and younger voters should be attributed to cohort effects; people who grew up during a certain period (e.g. during the depression and WWII) are more likely to be conservative than those who grew up during a different period (e.g. post-WWII affluence)
Therefore, these younger voters are indeed vital to a full scale re-emergence of Liberal Britain.