One Third of Likely Labour Voters Say Their Vote is Mainly Against The Conservatives

June 3, 2024
R&WS Research Team
Conservative Party | GB Politics | Keir Starmer | Labour Party | Rishi Sunak | UK General Election 2024 | UK Politics

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The General Election is now in full swing, and all the political parties are now frantically trying to rally their bases and expand their support. With the polls having seen little change in the first week of the campaign, Labour still appears on course for a landslide victory.

But what are the motivations for voters who intend to cast their ballot for the two big parties in the coming election?

To answer that question, we at Redfield & Wilton Strategies teamed up with The Independent to ask Conservative and Labour voters why they intend to vote as they plan to do so on 4 July? Fieldwork was conducted on 24 May, two days after Rishi Sunak called the General Election. 

When asked to select from a list of possible answers what best describes their primary reason for voting Labour, likely Labour voters are most likely to cite the fact they ‘like the Labour Party and what they stand for in general’ (49%).

‘I like Keir Starmer’ (18%) is the second most common answer among likely Labour voters.

‘I dislike the Conservative Party and what they stand for’ (17%) is the third most common answer, followed by ‘I dislike Rishi Sunak’ (7%), and ‘I like the Labour Party’s policies’ (7%).

While 63% say they are voting for Keir Starmer and the Labour Party, more than one third (35%) of likely Labour voters say they are voting against Rishi Sunak and the Conservative Party.

By contrast, likely Conservative voters are far less likely to cite opposition to the Labour Party in general, and Keir Starmer in particular, as motivations for voting Conservative in the coming election.

When asked what best describes their primary reason for voting Conservative, about two thirds of likely Conservative voters say they ‘like the Conservative Party and what they stand for in general’ (67%).

11% say they primarily intend to vote Conservative because they ‘like Rishi Sunak,’ while only 11% say their primary motivation for voting Conservative is either a dislike of Keir Starmer (7%) or a dislike of the Labour Party (4%).

While just two-thirds of likely Labour voters say their vote is for Labour, more than three-quarters of likely Conservative voters say their vote is for Rishi Sunak and the Conservative Party, while only 18% say their vote is against Keir Starmer and the Labour Party.

The responses of likely Conservative voters point to Keir Starmer’s success in achieving one of his key aims when he became Labour leader: detoxifying his party in the eyes of voters and making himself a plausible candidate for Prime Minister.

When 2019 Conservative voters were asked last August what motivated them to vote Conservative at the last election, ‘I disliked Jeremy Corbyn’ was the most common answer (it should be noted, the question had a different structure to the ones above, in that it was multi-select and used different answer codes).

In 2019, fear and dislike of Corbyn was a powerful rallying force for Conservative voters. But in 2024, faced with an opponent who arouses no such hostility from the public, the Conservatives have only their own record on which to run.

To find out more information about this research contact our research team. Redfield & Wilton Strategies is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Follow us on Twitter

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