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

February 14, 2024
R&WS Research Team
Conservative Party | Education | GB Politics | Labour Party | UK Elections | Voting Intention

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One of the most commonly cited cleavages to have emerged in the last two UK General Elections is that of education. In both 2017 and 2019, the Conservatives did increasingly worse among university educated voters while making gains among those without a university degree in places such as the Red Wall. The opposite trend, meanwhile, was observed with the Labour vote, as the party’s voter base became increasingly white collar and educated.

According to one post-election poll, as many as 60% of those educated to degree level or higher voted for either Labour or the Liberal Democrats in the 2019 General Election, compared with only 29% for the Conservative Party. By contrast, for those educated to GCSE level or below, the combined vote share for Labour and the Liberal Democrats was only 33%, against 58% for the Conservative Party.

Having previously found that Labour leads among both men and women, among all age groups, and among three different groups of voters by financial situation, we now find that, in a result which emphasises the scale of the swing against the Conservative Party since the 2019 Election, Labour leads the Conservatives among every group of voters when broken down by educational attainment by double digits.

In line with the 2017 and 2019 trend, Labour’s margins over the Conservatives are greatest among those with a university or professional education. 

Among voters who have an undergraduate degree but no higher qualification, a group which comprises 29% of the overall sample, Labour’s lead over the Conservatives is a yawning 23% (41% vs 18%). The Liberal Democrats, at 14%, also achieve their highest vote share with this group, just four points less than the Conservatives.

Similarly, among those who possess a postgraduate degree, 41% say they would now vote for Labour against only 19% who would vote Conservative.

Labour achieves its highest vote share among voters with a professional qualification, another group with whom the party enjoys a lead over the Conservatives of more than 20% (42% vs 21%).

Labour’s lead is narrowest among those who have an A Level (or equivalent) education. Even with this group, however, the party’s margin over the Conservatives stands at 14% (35% vs 21%).

A plurality of 38% of those who are educated to GCSE level (or equivalent) would now vote Labour, while both the Conservatives (22%) and Reform UK (14%) earn their highest vote shares with this group. 

Given our findings today, it appears that, compared to the results of the 2019 General Election, support for the Conservative Party has clearly collapsed across the board, but most particularly among those who are less educated.

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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