The political spectrum
Interesting stats in a YouGov poll for C4 News earlier this week about where the public put themselves and the political parties on the left-right spectrum. The public as a whole say:
Very left-wing - 3%
Fairly left-wing - 11%
Slightly left-of-centre - 15%
Centre - 20%
Slightly right-of-centre - 13%
Fairly right-wing - 11%
Very right-wing - 4%
Don’t know - 22%
The 3 leftmost categories more or less equal Labour's rock-bottom core vote - 29%. The core 3 rightwing categories equal about the same - 28%. So you need to win over people who define themselves as centrist, or just don't know, to get anywhere near winning.
Current Labour voters consist of 7% very leftwing, 20% fairly leftwing, 26% slightly left of centre, 22% centre, 15% don't know, 8% slightly right-of-centre, 1% fairly rightwing and 1% very rightwing!
The myth that the Lib Dem vote is now generally to the left of Labour's is slain: only 1% of LD voters are very leftwing, only 7% fairly leftwing, 25% slightly left of centre, 31% centrist, 4% slightly right of centre, 3% fairly rightwing and 1% very rightwing. 23% don't know.
Women are slightly to the left of men but twice of many of them don't identify with any of the labels at all.
The under 34s have the largest number of people who don't know what they identify with of any of the age groups, but those who do have an opinion place themselves slightly to the left of their older counterparts. The over 55s are the most rightwing age group - bad news for Labour when we have an aging population and the old have by far the highest voter turnout.
The middle class ABC1s are more partisan than the working class C2DEs - they include more leftwingers and rightwingers whilst the working classes include more centrists and don't knows i.e. New Labour triangulation is probably more appealing to C2DEs than to the middle classes.
Scotland is overwhelming the region/nation where people see themselves as on the left - the north is the only other region where this is the case and then to a far lesser degree. The Midlands emerges as the most rightwing region! London, contrary to all the stuff about it being to the left of the rest of the country, has voters who (although the bell curve is spread further left) on average are positioned identically to the rest of the South - just to the right of centre.
Oh, and 65% of voters think Cameron is a lightweight politician.