This morning, Zarah Sultana accused the Conservatives of attempting to suppress working class votes with the introduction of voter ID laws. According to Sultana, low income voters overwhelming vote for Labour, so any such measure would have to be a deliberate political calculation on the part of the Tories. As Michael Gove immediately pointed out, however, that just isn’t true: low income voters are now more likely to vote Conservative than Labour. Introducing voter ID laws (irrespective of the other arguments against them) would not advantage the Tories as Sultana claims.
Guido made a similar point on Twitter soon after. As YouGov data from 2017 showed, class is no longer a reliable indicator of how people vote – that year, a middle class voter was just as likely to vote Conservative as a working class voter. The political axis of the country has shifted.
Sultana was having none of it, firing back with a graph which depicts ‘working-age voters by income‘, and appears to show that most voters earning less than £29,000 vote Labour. Conveniently ignoring all voters above 65, as though everyone above that age makes millions…
She had to ignore those voters, because otherwise her argument would fall apart. An extensive report by Matthew Goodwin and Oliver Heath for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) revealed just how far Labour has drifted from its traditional working class base:
“The Conservatives are now more popular with people on low incomes than high incomes. Labour is as popular with the wealthy as with those on low incomes…Low-income voters, who have been central to driving recent political change, played a central role in putting the Conservatives into power and Labour into opposition.”
In the 2019 election, the Tories scored a 15-point lead over Labour amongst people of all ages on low incomes. In fact, they’re actually more popular with working class voters than with the wealthy. The Conservatives aren’t the party of the rich, and Labour aren’t the party of the poor.
If Labour ever want to win another election, they need to understand all this. Judging by the latest polls, they’re a long way off…
ComRes have today revealed their rank bank of think tanks, assessing where the esteemed establishments rank among MPs of different parties. Their bi-annual survey of MPs has found that the Centre for Policy Studies and the Institute of Economic Affairs come out on top among Tory MPs, with 65% and 59% of Tory MPs respectively endorsing them for their ‘high quality output’. Free market ideas still rule the roost, despite the leanings of the current party leadership…
Additionally, 39% of Conservative MPs say the CPS is one of the most influential think tanks, with the IEA nearest on 35%. The Centre for Social Justice, Institute for Fiscal Studies and The Taxpayers’ Alliance follow closely behind to round out the top five. The CPS are by far the biggest climbers with a sizable 13% jump, testament to their recent star hires…
Labour MPs liked the IPPR best, with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and IFS falling in behind. On an overall cross-party basis, the top five most influential wonks were the IFS (37%), followed by the JRF (30%), Chatham House (28%), the IEA (28%), and the CPS (24%).
Oddly, the Adam Smith Institute wasn’t included in the list for MPs to choose from, despite some big policy wins this year. Guido hears the CPS has sportingly called on ComRes to include the ASI next time round…
Read the report in full below:
Today the Charity Commission proudly published a slap-down of the Institute of Economic Affairs for having the temerity to produce recommendations for how the Government should deliver Brexit. By publishing ‘Plan A+’, the Charity Commission argues that the IEA has been insufficiently balanced.
“educational charities must ensure that their research reports present balanced and neutral information allowing the reader to make up his or her own mind about the issue explored”
But where was the “official warning” for the left wing charity the Institute of Public Policy Research, run by Ed Miliband’s former spin doctor, which in 2017 produced not dissimilar document called ‘The Shared Market‘ proposing a left wing route out of the EU, tying the UK into EU regulatory structures. As a ‘proposed agreement’ this was entirely analogous to the IEA plan…
“The proposed agreement outlined in this briefing would be a distinct way forward for the UK and the EU27.”
What about the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, which in 2015 gave £30,000 to Compass, a left-wing membership organisation affiliated to the Labour Party. It also donated £85,000 to “Corporate Watch” who have published books including advocacy of government boycott of the Jewish state, along with “Capitalism, what is it and how can we destroy it?” Very charitable…
Where is the investigation into the charity ‘Hope Not Hate’, who have received £90,000 from the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, and are campaigning against Brexit with Gina Miller’s radical campaign group ‘Best for Britain.’ They have openly stated that:
“We believe that a hard Brexit is being used by the radical right, inside and outside the Conservative Party, to dramatically change British society – and change it for the worse.”
How is this very balanced and educational?
UPDATE: The IEA has put out a formal response to the Charity Commission:
“The Institute of Economic Affairs is disappointed that the Charity Commission has issued us with an official warning for the publication and launch of a trade paper in September 2018.
“The IEA is considering a range of options, as we believe this warning has extremely widespread and worrying implications for the whole of the think tank and educational charity sector.
“A precedent is being set: research papers – and their launches – which put forward policy proposals may now fall outside the parameters of what the Charity Commission considers acceptable activity.
“We will be working with the Charity Commission to address these points. Earlier this year, we asked a number of questions of the Commission relating to these regulatory matters and have yet to receive a response. We look forward to receiving such a response shortly to help inform our future activity.”