Tories are now the party of working class voters, election survey finds

James MorrisSenior news reporter, Yahoo News UK
Boris Johnson with newly elected Conservative MPs (PA)
Boris Johnson with newly elected Conservative MPs (PA)

The Conservatives are now the party of working class voters, new research has found.

A survey by YouGov found 48 per cent of C2DE voters - a bracket that includes skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled manual workers and unemployed people - supported the Tories in last week’s general election.

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That’s a stark contrast with Labour, traditionally the party of the working class. Just 33 per cent of C2DE voters supported Jeremy Corbyn’s party on Thursday.

To make things worse for Labour, it had been supported by 42 per cent of C2DE voters in 2017, while the Tories were on 44 per cent.

Votes by social grade in the 2019 election (YouGov)
Votes by social grade in the 2019 election (YouGov)

It comes despite the Tory figurehead being Eton-educated millionaire Boris Johnson, who in July also picked a cabinet that was two-thirds privately educated.

However, a number of new Conservative candidates, including those who won historic Labour safe seats in the north, tended to be “self-made” and living locally, as opposed to people born into privilege being “flown in” from London. This was the case with Mr Johnson himself when he first became an MP in Henley in 2001.

As an example, Mark Jenkinson, who won in Workington - a constituency which has only been held by a Tory for three years of its 101-year existence - was a self-employed contractor working in the nuclear supply chain before his election.

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The Tories also outperformed Labour in the ABC1 category of middle and upper class voters, with YouGov saying: “The Conservatives comfortably outperformed Labour across all social grades, further evidence that class is no longer a key indicator of how people vote.”

The YouGov survey interviewed 41,995 people who voted in last week’s election.

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