UK-wide survey of voting intentions for the over 50s has shown that almost one in ten (9%) have already decided that they won’t vote on May 22nd and another 16% have yet to make their mind up.
The recent much-hyped debate between Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage appears to have made its mark. A third (33%) of those over 50s who said they would vote saying they intend to vote UKIP. This compares with - Conservatives - 30%; Labour - 17%; Lib Dems - 9%; and, Green - 5%.
However, in Scotland the SNP were the most popular party on 34%, with Conservatives on 23%, Labour 15%, UKIP 13%, Lib Dems 9% and greens on 4%. In Wales the nationalist vote is less successful with support for Plaid Cymru at 13%. The balance being UKIP 32%, Cons 24%, Lab 21%, Lib Dem 5% and Green 3%; and, in England UKIP support is 35%, Conservative 31%, Labour 17%, Lib Dem 10% and Green 6%.
However, hope for the main parties comes from the fact that UKIP support is by far the flakiest when it comes to looking forward to the General Election. Over a third (34%) of UKIP pledges for the Euro Elections say they will change their vote – just 66% of people saying they would vote UKIP at Euros say they would go on to vote UKIP at the General Election. The most loyal voters are those for Conservative, Labour and SNP where 98%, 97% and 95% of their respective Euro Election voters say they will go on to vote for the same party at the General Election in 2015. This is followed by supporters of Plaid Cymru (79%) and the Liberal Democrats (81%). The bottom division for loyalty are UKIP (66%) and supporters of the Green Party (60%) are the most likely to say they will switch their vote for the Westminster election.
Among over 50s, UKIP’s support in the European Elections is very markedly a male affair (38% men vs 24% women). Support for UKIP doesn’t vary much by age (31% for those aged 50-59 and 34% for those aged 70-79) but their support does decline as people get richer (AB – 28%, C1 – 36%, C2 – 46%, DE 41%). There are also regional variations (England 35%, Wales 32%, Scotland 13%, and Northern Ireland 11%). The highest support for UKIP in the English regions is in East Anglia (41%) and least in London (28%).
Conservative support is marginally more female (32% women vs 28% men). Support for the Conservatives grows with age (26% for those aged 50-59, 38% for the 80-89s). Their support declines as people get poorer (AB – 33%, C1 – 28%, C2 – 21%, DE 22%). There are also regional variations (England 31%, Wales 24%, Scotland 23%, and Northern Ireland 9%). The highest support for the Conservatives in the English regions is in the South East (35%) and least in the North East (25%).
Labour support is more feminine (19% women vs 15% men). Support for Labour generally falls with age (21% for those aged 55-59, 14% for those aged 70-79). Their support declines as people get richer (AB – 17%, C1 – 16%, C2 – 19%, DE - 22%). There are also regional variations (England 17%, Wales 21%, and Scotland 15%). The highest support for Labour in the English regions is in the North East (26%) and least East Anglia (12%) and South West (12%).
Liberal Democrat support is gender neutral (9% men, 10% women). Support for the Lib Dems increases with age (9% for those aged 50-59, 12% for those aged 80-89). Their support declines as people get poorer (AB – 11%, C1 – 8%, C2 – 4%, DE 4%). There are also regional variations (England 10%, Wales 5%, Scotland 9%). The highest support for the Lib Dems in the English regions is in the South West (13%) and the lowest North West (8%).
Tim Pethick, strategy director, Saga Group, commented: "Saga is a strictly apolitical organisation and our regular monthly poll of over 10,000 of the nations over 50s show how they feel on a number of issues. With many people undecided or deciding not to vote turnout will be a key factor in the European Elections. Older people are more likely to go to the polls than younger electors so it’s little wonder that the views of the Saga generations are so keenly scrutinised by political parties.”
Note to editors:
Populus interviewed 10,657 Saga customers, all aged 50+, online between 11 and 16 April 2014. Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules; for more information see www.populus.co.uk