NEWS19 October 2016

Eight UK political tribes identified by Opinium

Brexit News Public Sector Trends UK

UK – With voters increasingly holding a combination of attitudes and views, research by Opinium in conjunction with think tank Social Market Foundation has identified eight political tribes in the UK. 

Left right centre_crop

These tribes were determined as part of the research project – Dead Centre: redefining the centre of British politics – looking at whether UK voters are still interested in the centre ground of politics.

Through cluster analysis respondents were grouped into eight tribes: Democratic Socialists, Community, Progressives, Swing Voters, New Britain, Free Liberals, Common Sense and Our Britain.

The two largest tribes Common Sense and Our Britain – account for about 50% of the population – hold a range of traditionally right wing views. These groups want to see immigration cut and were solidly pro-Leave in the EU referendum.

But past these two tribes there is much more fragmentation. The centre or centre-right tribes – New Britain and Swing Voters – make up 13% combined. Their views differ on increasing income tax to reduce inequality but their views on Europe are more in line with both tribes in favour of remaining the single market.

In terms of the biggest parties trying to win in the centre, these tribes currently favour the Conservatives over Labour.

Polling for the report was carried out in the second half of August and people were asked to place themselves and politicians on a left-right continuum as well as give their views on various issues and policies.

Forty-five per cent of voters said they are in the centre of UK politics, 25% on the left and 30% on the right.

When asked to place politicians on a left-right scale, respondents put Theresa May as less right wing than David Cameron.

When looking at people’s views on issues and policies there was however firmer support for more right wing or left wing responses. For instance 60% supported the statement ‘net immigration into Britain should be reduced to less than 100,000 a year’ and more than 60% agreed that ‘benefits claimants that are fit to work would have to do compulsory work placements’. More than 60% also supported a banning zero-hours contracts.