Matt Goodwin Profile picture
Jul 10, 2018 23 tweets 5 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Inside the minds of Conservative Party voters - a thread
We seem to be talking a lot about what Conservative MPs want but not a lot about what Conservative voters want
One of the reasons that many in Britain have been repeatedly shocked by political change -Ukip, Corbyn, Brexit- is because they've not been paying sufficient attention to public opinion & voters
The seeds of future revolts have already been planted
The following draws on some work out today using the British Social Attitudes survey & @whatukthinks and some bits I've been doing for @jrf_uk and others
First, Conservative voters today are far more pro-Leave than they were only 3 years ago

Large majority just want out
Second, they've become far more gloomy about how immigration is changing Britain

Fewer than 1 in 4 think it is enriching the nation's cultural life
Third, when given the option --"free movement for free trade?" -- an overwhelming majority say no

Most want free movement to stop
Might be tempting to think these views might change or that these voters could be won over by a clever campaign or policy pitch...
That's very unlikely. Because we are talking about people's values, or the elephant that is driving the rider, and those instincts don't really change.

For example...
This is what's happened to the Conservative Party electorate in terms of those values

It's become far more socially conservative or 'authoritarian'
This partly reflects the way in which, since 2016, Conservative Party has hoovered up ex-UKIP voters but also something else ...
The Conservatives under May have also attracted a lot more non-graduates who also tend to hold more socially conservative outlooks
Worth remembering too that many more of today's Conservative voters --unlike the days of Maastricht -- are open to switching their votes
Around 7 in 10 Leavers had either already abandoned the mainstream for UKIP or said they would consider doing so -- so this electorate in my view at least is a lot less 'tribal' than it once was
This outlook is why a few days ago

-only 33% of current Conservative voters told @Survation the #Chequers deal was 'faithful to the referendum'

-and only 34% think it is the 'right deal for Britain'
I hear Tories saying "well our voters don't have anywhere to go". Sounds like New Labour types in 2000s who then later realised they'd lost a big chunk of their electorate, either to UKIP or Cons or simply to apathy
We also need to remember -as @jon_mellon has shown- that overall rates of volatility in Britain today (I.e. ppl switching votes) are at some of the highest levels on record
One big risk for the Cons is a UKIP 2.0 party. But an equally big if not greater risk is simply widespread apathy -- committed Leavers just stay home after concluding that politics makes no difference
Some Cons say "oh well the fear of Corbyn" will turn them out. I'm not convinced. For these voters Brexit & immigration control are existential, value-led issues. The level of disillusionment after a "soft sell-out" deal will be profound.
The next general election also looks set to be the 4th in recent history that will be entirely fear-based (Corbyn is a threat!!) But the potency of fear has arguably worn off. Even in 2015 with "Red Ed + SNP" 4 million voters decamped to UKIP ..
So it may be that the gaping disconnect may yet deliver some profound effects. Perhaps a recast Conservative Party, fairly widespread apathy (especially among the working class) or something new altogether. But 'business as usual' for the Con Party seems very unlikely /ends
My bad should be the other way. Fewer than 1 in 4 who think positively about cultural effects of imm now voting Con. But pt remains -more sceptical about migration.
This is what happens when you do threads on a beach with a cocktail

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More from @GoodwinMJ

Oct 6, 2018
Why have Britain's Leavers not changed their minds?

Gee I don't know...

"press freedom has its limits"
An intervention that also happens to come two weeks after this:
Leavers were concerned about a democratic deficit in the EU, driven by a sense that EU institutions were neither sufficiently transparent nor democratically accountable. We've heard a lot about the domestic risk of Brexit but little about how these features remain clearly visible
Read 6 tweets
Sep 25, 2018
Is 'Corbynomics' popular?

A thread

#Lab2018 #Lab18 #LabourConference2018
I get a lot more calls about Corbyn than I do about Brexit

Britain is about to transition from a debate about 'Brexinomics' to a debate about 'Corbynomics'

Lots of people in the City are already having that debate
And usually the same question comes up - what do ordinary people think about Corbyn's policies?
Read 48 tweets
Sep 12, 2018
Few interesting bits on Sweden Democrat support from exit poll data

1) National populists were the most popular party among men
2) Very different story among women - just a 4 pt increase on last election in 2014. Unlike Le Pen in France not much evidence the national populists are closing the well-documented 'gender gap'
3) Compare support for national populist Sweden Democrats among blue-collar workers, 2014 vs 2018
Read 5 tweets
Sep 10, 2018
Agree that some media coverage on Sweden is misleading but I also think these short-term takes & arguments pointing to the "failure" of Sweden Democrats are helpful because they distract us from the long-term currents swirling beneath Europe's democracies. Here's what matters 1/
1. Many of Europe's party systems are fragmenting. I'm stunned that some are arguing Sweden reflects 'success' of the mainstream. Fragmentation means more parties & less coherent coalitions, which makes it more difficult to deliver the strong & stable governments that EU needs
2. There is now a clear rightward drift on cultural-identity issues like immigration, integration & refugees, as studies have now shown. Since the 1980s, party manifestoes on both the centre right & centre left have become less "liberal" and more "authoritarian".
Read 8 tweets
Sep 9, 2018
A few reflections on Sweden's exit polls

1. The centre-left Social democrats average 25.8% in exit polls -this would be their lowest vote for more than a century (since 1908). The decline of social democracy in Europe continues

#val2018 #SwedenElection
2. The national populist Sweden Democrats average 17.8% in the exit polls. This would be their best result on record (+4.9 pts on the last election) and is broadly in line with the dip in their support picked up in polls during final week of campaign #val2018
3. It's worth reflecting on fact that national populists look set for a 2nd or 3rd place finish amid an economy that has comparatively decent growth, low unemployment & some of the highest living standards in the Western world #val2018
Read 5 tweets
Sep 6, 2018
3 days until Sweden's election

The average across all polls in final week

(change since 2014 election)

Social Democrats 25% (-6)
Sweden Democrats 18% (+5.1)
Moderates 17.5% (-5.8)
Left Party 10% (+4.3)
Centre 9% (+2.9)
Christian Dem 6% (+1.4)
Liberal 6% (+0.6)
Green 5% (-1.9)
The centre-left Social Democrats look set to finish 1st although this could also be the party's lowest share of the vote since 1908, reflecting the general decline of social democracy across Europe
If polls are right -which they generally were in past- then national populist Sweden Democrats will 'fail' to win election. @chrishanretty puts probability of them doing so at 0.1-12.5% & I agree it is unlikely though vote share/policy impact up on past
Read 4 tweets

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