Working-class Britons who helped Boris Johnson and the Conservatives win the last general election have fled the party led by Rishi Sunak, a new poll suggests.
Less than half (44%) of working-class voters who supported the Conservatives in 2019 say they will do so again in next year’s poll, according to the YouGov survey.
Around 12 percent of 2019 Conservatives say they will support Nigel Farage’s Reform UK party; while just 9 per cent say they will switch to Labor – with a high proportion (21 per cent) saying they don’t know who they will vote for.
Despite Mr Sunak’s struggles to win the support of low-income people, Labour’s current lead over the Conservatives is smaller among working-class voters than among the wider electorate.
Keir Starmer’s party has just a six-point advantage among working-class voters, while it enjoys a 15-point advantage among voters overall.
The centre-left think tank Progressive Policy Institute, which commissioned the YouGov poll, warned that Labor still had much work to do to win over many of its traditional base.
The think tank’s report reveals that cost of living issues are far more important to the British working class than so-called “culture war” issues which have “received disproportionate media attention”.
He called on Labor to raise wages for those on low and middle incomes, provide better housing for younger people and restore a sense of fairness amid widespread distrust after Partygate.
“The government should not be afraid to tax excess profits where businesses do not pass on profits to consumers and to ensure that UK taxes are paid in full,” the report also said.
Some 74 per cent of voters said the Conservatives were not close to the working class – an advantage for Labor who continue to highlight Mr Sunak’s enormous personal wealth.
Claire Ainsley, director of the Progressive Policy Institute, said Labor was “on track” to win over working-class voters who felt most pessimistic about their finances.
“The task of the Labor Party is to inspire hope and belief that the deal can be remade that if you work hard you can keep going,” she said.
“This relies on proposing concrete plans to improve citizens’ security and prospects, and restore a sense of fundamental fairness in the economy and society.”
However, there are signs that Mr Sunak’s decision to water down net zero climate policies and his assertion that the poorest people will pay the heaviest price could be politically effective.
Some 53 percent of working-class voters say it is important to tackle climate change, but that “people like me should not pay the price for policies aimed at reducing global carbon emissions.”
On Monday, Mr Sunak told an event he wanted to achieve net zero carbon emissions in a way that ‘saves all of you money’ and ‘doesn’t bankrupt the country’ .
The Prime Minister pushed back the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030 to 2035 and weakened plans to phase out gas boilers.
Mr Starmer told business leaders on Monday he was ready for an election as early as May, while warning the Tories would drag the campaign into the gutter.
Speaking at the Labor conference business forum, the party leader said: “It will either be May or October, and our team is ready for May because I don’t think anyone can rule out May. »
Sir Keir added: “In terms of how this will be managed, I think it will sadly devolve into a place that is not a matter of big politics. I think it will go down from the government’s point of view.”
Highlighting Mr Sunak’s weakening of net zero, he said the Government was “making decisions in the short term interest of opening up divisions for the sake of elections”. He added: “If we enter government, you will enter government with us.”