Opinion Polls show Clegg leading Miliband with younger voters to get rid of this corruption

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.

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4 Responses to Opinion Polls show Clegg leading Miliband with younger voters to get rid of this corruption

  1. Pingback: Nick Clegg making up lost ground with young voters | The Rambles of Neil Monnery

  2. ChrisB says:

    Hey Matthew,

    This clearly isn’t the case – you can’t accurately extrapolate national trends from these sorts of data sets and this poll is meaningless in the context you’re applying it, and only a yardstick as regards its intended purpose. The opinion of 35 people isn’t an accurate measure of anything national.

    To be entitled to make the sorts of inferences you have from the poll, you would at least require a historical baseline for this dataset, so you could demonstrate your point with a consistent method at 2 or more points in time. Using such a specific instance with no correlation to the past could mean all sorts of things (potentially really, really weird things). A similar survey from 2 years ago may of revealed (and I believe this was the case), that Nick Clegg led all 3 parties in that age group, and what we’ve actually suffered is a huge drop in fortunes. Even if this demographic is comparatively buoyant, that doesn’t help much (15% of a 6 year age bracket isn’t really something to get excited about). These may be the figures of decimation, there’s no enough proof here to say either way, but you’re clearly not entitled to claim the antithesis.

    When I look at these figures the only differential I see large enough to be considered a somewhat valid (but rough) approximation is the “none of them” choice. If there’s one thing we can learn from this table, it’s that most people have no faith in politicians to be able to fix this situation.

  3. Alan Belmore says:

    Surely the problem we face is that the numbers were looking at are so small. Whilst Clegg is leading Miliband by 5%, “None of them” leads by Clegg by 44%.

    What’s more is that surely that when you break down a polling sample to age groups, each age group is open to random sampling error (owing to its small size) which is less likely to affect the much larger overall population? Therefore unless you did a sample of 1000 16-34 year olds, you can’t say with any statistical assurance that young people think one way or another?

  4. Cat says:

    Clutching at straws.

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