Westminster Voting Intention, By Car Ownership (3-5 February 2024)

February 16, 2024
R&WS Research Team
Conservative Party | GB Politics | Labour Party | Lifestyle and Society | Transport | UK Elections | Voting Intention

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Last July, in the wake of the Conservatives narrow victory in the Uxbridge & South Ruislip by-election on the back of local opposition to the expansion of London’s Ultra-Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ), Rishi Sunak declared, “I am on motorists’ side,” as he announced his party would embrace a pro-motorist agenda.

Although some of the policies that formed part of this pro-motorist agenda were popular enough in isolation, they were not—for reasons that we explored at the time—ever likely to be enough to effect a poll recovery in the absence of any urgent action on the more pressing problems voters face, such as the rising cost of living and lengthening hospital waiting lists. 

In August, before specific policy changes were announced, our polling found Labour with an 11% lead over the Conservatives among car owners and a 42% advantage among those who did not own a car.  

Today, as part of our series of case studies analysing the results of our 5,000-sample poll conducted and published last week, we find that Labour leads the Conservatives by double digits among voters whose households own zero, one, or multiple cars.  

Labour’s lead over the Conservatives is widest in households that do not own a car (42% to 15%). They also hold leads in the mid-to-high teens among those who own one (39% to 21%), or two or more (35% to 22%) cars.

A similar contrast can be observed between those who do and those who do not have a driver’s license. 

Among voters who possess a driver’s license, Labour leads the Conservatives by 15% (37% to 22%), while among those who do not, the party’s lead is more than twice as large at 34% (45% to 11%).

These findings are in line with the trends in our tracker polling. 

Among car owning voters, a group with which Labour has led the Conservatives since April 2022, Labour’s advantage currently stands at 14% (37% vs 23%).

At the same time, a plurality (47%) of those who do not own a car would now vote for Labour, against only 12% of this group who would vote for the Conservatives. 

Labour has led with this constituency of voters in every nationwide Westminster Voting Intention poll that we have conducted.

Ultimately, most British motorists are not single issue voters, as many in Uxbridge & South Ruislip were last summer. Those who drive for their commute also do not necessarily explicitly define themselves as motorists in the same way that those who own their own home define themselves as homeowners.

“Pro-car” policies are therefore not the wedge issue that will reverse the Conservatives’ standing in the polls.

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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