How Britain voted in the 2019 election

As we have for every general election since 1979, Ipsos MORI has produced estimates of how the voters voted in 2019.

The author(s)

  • Gideon Skinner Head of Political Research
  • Dr. Roger Mortimore Public Affairs
  • Dylan Spielman Public Affairs
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As we have for every general election since 1979, Ipsos MORI has produced estimates of how the voters voted in 2019.  As always, even after an election in which our polls have proved very accurate, it is important to note that these are estimates only, based on people’s answers to pre-election surveys during the campaign, and will be subject to a margin of error.  However, the figures have been calibrated to match the final actual results and turnout at a regional level, which should make them a more accurate guide to how different sub-groups voted. 
Here are ten key findings from the results:

  1. Age continues to be a key dividing line, and in fact the age divide has increased even further since 2017.  Labour had a 43 point lead among voters aged 18-24 (the Conservative share actually fell eight points among this group), but the Conservatives had a 47 point lead among those aged 65+ (among whom Labour’s vote share fell by 8 points).  The biggest change was among 35-54 year olds, who saw a three point rise in the Conservatives’ vote share and 11 point fall for Labour, representing a seven point swing from Jeremy Corbyn’s party to Boris Johnson’s Conservatives.
  2. The long-term realignment in class continued, with the Conservatives ahead even among social classes C2DE.  Labour lost votes among all social classes, while the Conservatives increased their vote share by three points among C2DEs. 
  3. There was a gender gap, with the Conservatives ahead of Labour by 15 points among men, and by nine points among women.  However, the swing from Labour to the Conservatives was similar among both men and women, with the Labour vote share falling by roughly the same amount among men and women.
  4. These topline figures hide a more complex picture – it would be a mistake to treat all voters of a similar age, gender, class and so on as a homogenous group.  For example, the age gap is especially noticeable among women (younger women are particularly Labour, older women particularly Conservative), although it was actually among younger men that Labour made its biggest gains.  On the other hand, it is among men in social class DE, and 35-54s among the same class, where the Conservatives won the biggest swing from Labour.
  5. The Conservatives held on to more of their 2017 vote than Labour.  The Conservatives won 88% of the vote from their 2017 supporters, while Labour won 80% of their 2017 vote. The Liberal Democrats won just over six in ten (63%) of their 2017 base, although attracted roughly equal levels of support from 2017 Conservative and Labour voters.  Among the relatively low numbers of those who said they did not vote in 2017 but did in 2019, Labour led by 46% to 33%.  However, this is primarily due to a large Labour lead among those who did not vote in 2017 because they were too young; among those who did not vote for other reasons the two main parties were roughly neck and neck.
  6. The Conservatives had a clear lead among Leave voters, but Remain voters were more split.  The Conservatives had a 73% to 15% lead over Labour among Leave voters, representing an 8.5 point swing to Boris Johnson’s party since 2017.  Among Remain voters, just under half (48%) voted Labour, 21% Liberal Democrats, and 20% the Conservatives.  Nine in ten (92%) of 2017 Conservative Leave voters voted Conservative, but 65% of 2017 Labour Leave voters voted Labour.  On the other hand, 85% of 2017 Labour Remain voters voted Labour, while 73% of Conservative Remain voters voted Conservative.  The Conservatives, though, lost more of their 2017 Remain vote to the Liberal Democrats (19%), while 23% of 2017 Labour Leave voters voted Conservative. 
  7. Similarly, while the Conservatives won clearly among non-graduates, graduates themselves were more split. There was a 9.5 point swing from Labour to the Conservatives among those with no qualifications (this will partly reflect their older age profile, although this may not be the only factor).  Among graduates, 39% said they voted Labour, 34% the Conservatives, and 17% the Liberal Democrats.
  8. As in previous years, Labour had a strong lead among BME voters, although its vote share fell roughly the same amount among both white and BME groups.  Among BME voters, Labour led the Conservatives by 64% to 20%, while among white voters the Conservatives led by 48% to 29%.  However, Labour’s vote share fell a similar amount since 2017 among both groups, by 9 points and 10 points respectively. 
  9.  The Liberal Democrats got their highest share among Remain voters and graduates, and increased their vote share among nearly all groups. Around one in five Remain voters voted for Jo Swinson’s party (up eight points from 2017), and 17% of graduates (up five points).  The Lib Dems also saw an increase in their vote share of nine points among 35-54 year olds in social class AB. 
  10.  Turnout estimates should be treated with caution, but show a broadly similar pattern to previous elections of higher turnout among older people and graduates and lower among younger people, renters and BME voters.  Estimating turnout is one of the hardest challenges when relying solely on survey data, as despite improvements to our methodology people may still overestimate their likelihood of voting, may think they are registered when they are not, and polls may still be more likely to interview politically engaged people than disengaged.  This is particularly important to bear in mind when comparing turnout estimates to 2017, as there is contradictory evidence from a number of different sources on the level of turnout among different groups in that election. Furthermore, it should be noted that our turnout estimates are expressed as a % of all resident adults, not as a % of all those registered (see here for more on our reasons behind this).   This means that these figures are not comparable to the official turnout figures normally used, and within our series are only comparable to figures going back to 2015 (before then a different methodology was used).  
     

(Use arrow keys or fingers to scroll left and right in the table)

 
Voting
 
 
Change since 2017
 
Con
Lab
LD
Other
Con lead
over Lab
Turnout
(All)
Con
Lab
LD
Other
Turnout
(All)
Con to
Lab swing
 
%
%
%
%
± %
 
± %
± %
± %
± %
± %
%
All
45
33
12
10
+12
61%
+2
-8
+4
+2
-2%
+5
Gender
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Male
46
31
12
11
+15
63%
+2
-9
+5
+2
-1%
+5.5
Female
43
34
12
11
+9
59%
0
-8
+4
+4
-3%
+4
Age
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
18-24
19
62
9
10
-43
47%
-8
0
+4
+4
-7%
-4
25-34
27
51
11
11
-24
55%
0
-5
+2
+3
0%
+2.5
35-44
36
39
13
12
-3
54%
+3
-10
+3
+4
-2%
+6.5
45-54
46
28
14
12
+18
63%
+3
-12
+7
+2
-3%
+7.5
55-64
49
27
11
13+
+22
66%
-2
-7
+4
+5
-5%
+2.5
65+
64
17
11
8
+47
74%
+3
-8
+4
+1
+3%
+5.5
Men by Age
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
18-24
22
59
10
9
-37
46%
-14
+7
+5
+2
-8%
-10.5
25-34
31
48
10
11
-17
57%
+1
-6
+2
+3
+2%
+3.5
35-54
45
30
14
11
+15
62%
+5
-12
+6
+1
0%
+8.5
55+
58
21
11
10
+37
74%
+2
-9
+5
+2
+1%
+5.5
Women by Age
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
18-24
17
64
9
10
-47
48%
-1
-9
+4
+6
-5%
+4
25-34
23
54
12
11
-31
52%
-1
-4
+2
+3
-2%
+1.5
35-54
37
36
14
13
+1
56%
0
-10
+6
+4
-5%
+5
55+
59
21
12
8
+38
68%
+1
-6
+4
+1
-1%
+3.5
Social Class
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
AB
45
30
16
9
+15
68%
-2
-7
+6
+3
-1%
-2.5
C1
45
32
12
11
+13
64%
+1
-8
+5
+2
-4%
+4.5
C2
47
32
9
12
+15
59%
+2
-9
+3
+4
-1%
+5.5
DE
41
39
9
11
2
53%
+3
-8
+4
+1
0%
+5.5
Men by Class
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
AB
47
29
15
9
+18
70%
-3
-5
+5
+3
+2%
+1
C1
47
31
12
10
+16
64%
+4
-9
+4
1
-6%
+6.5
C2
48
30
8
14
+18
60%
+3
-11
3
5
+1%
+7
DE
43
37
8
12
+6
56%
+7
-11
+4
0
+3%
+9
Women by Class
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
AB
42
31
17
10
+11
64%
-1
-9
+6
+4
-5%
+4
C1
44
33
13
10
+11
64%
0
-7
+6
+1
-3%
+3.5
C2
46
33
9
12
+13
59%
+1
-9
+2
+6
-1%
+5
DE
39
40
9
12
-1
50%
+1
-7
+3
+3
-3%
+4
18-34s by Class
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
AB
26
52
13
9
-26
59%
-5
0
+3
+2
-2%
-2.5
C1
24
55
10
11
-31
55%
-3
-3
+3
+3
-9%
0
C2
27
51
9
13
-24
49%
0
-11
+3
+8
0%
+5.5
DE
18
63
8
11
-45
43%
0
-7
+4
+3
8%
+3.5
35-54s by Class
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
AB
42
29
20
9
+13
64%
-3
-9
+9
+3
-5%
+3
C1
44
32
13
11
+12
62%
+6
-11
+5
0
-3%
+8.5
C2
44
31
10
15
+13
58%
+4
-13
+5
+4
0%
+8.5
DE
35
42
9
14
-7
48%
+8
-13
+3
+2
-2%
+10.5
55+s by Class
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
AB
60
17
14
9
+43
78%
-1
-7
+4
+4
+2%
+3
C1
59
20
13
8
+39
73%
-1
-5
+6
0
-2%
+2
C2
61
21
8
10
+40
69%
+2
-7
+2
+3
-1%
+4.5
DE
53
26
9
12
+27
63%
+4
-11
+4
+3
-2%
+7.5

(Use arrow keys or fingers to scroll left and right in the table)

 
Voting
 
 
Change since 2017
 
Con
Lab
LD
Other
Con lead
over Lab
Turnout
(All)
Con
Lab
LD
Other
Turnout
(All)
Con to
Lab swing
 
%
%
%
%
± %
 
± %
± %
± %
± %
± %
%
Owned
57
22
12
9
+35
70%
+2
-8
+5
+1
0%
+5
Mortgage
43
33
14
10
+10
64%
0
-7
+5
+2
-4%
+3.5
Social renter
33
45
7
15
-12
52%
+7
-12
+3
+2
0%
+9.5
Private renter
31
46
11
12
-15
51%
0
-8
+4
+4
-2%
+4
Ethnic group
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
White
48
29
12
11
19
63%
+3
-10
+4
+3
-1%
+6.5
All BME
20
64
12
4
-44
52%
+1
-9
+6
+2
-1%
+5
Qualifications
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
No qualifications
59
23
7
11
+36
59%
+7
-12
+3
+2
-1%
+9.5
Other qualifications
47
33
10
10
+14
59%
+1
-6
+4
+1
-2%
+3.5
Degree or higher
34
39
17
10
-5
69%
+1
-9
+5
+3
0%
+5
2017 vote
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Con
88
3
6
3
+85
79%
 
 
 
 
 
 
Lab
8
80
8
4
-72
74%
 
 
 
 
 
 
Lib Dem
11
19
63
7
-8
73%
 
 
 
 
 
 
Did note vote
33
46
9
12
-13
16%
 
 
 
 
 
 
EU Ref vote                        
Remain 20 48 21 11 -28 73% -6 -6 +8 +4    
Leave 73 15 3 9 58 68% +8 -9 +1 0    
Did note vote 26 52 10 12 -26 24% +3 -14 +6 +5    
EU Ref vote by 2017 vote
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2017 Con leaver
92
2
2
4
+90
82%
 
 
 
 
 
 
2017 Con remainer
73
6
19
2
+67
74%
 
 
 
 
 
 
2017 Lab leaver
23
65
4
8
-42
62%
 
 
 
 
 
 
2017 Lab remainer 2 85 9 4 -83 82%            
18-34s by qualification                        
No qualifications 30 51 5 14 -21 37%            
Other qualifications 28 54 9 9 -26 48%            
Degree or higher 21 56 12 11 -35 62%            
35-54s by qualification                        
No qualifications 50 33 7 10 +17 45%            
Other qualifications 49 30 10 11 +19 57%            
Degree or higher 32 37 20 11 -5 68%            
55+s by qualification                        
No qualifications 62 20 7 11 42 64%            
Other qualifications 61 19 11 9 42 73%            
Degree or higher 49 24 18 9 25 80%            

 

Technical Note

Base: 27,951 GB adults aged 18+, of whom we have classified 19,747 as likely voters (using our standard turnout filter), interviewed by telephone and online between 15 November – 11 December 2019. The proportions of voters for each party and non-voters was then weighted to the actual results by region. The data were also weighted to the population profile of Great Britain.

The author(s)

  • Gideon Skinner Head of Political Research
  • Dr. Roger Mortimore Public Affairs
  • Dylan Spielman Public Affairs

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