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Is Cameron’s success being built on women?

January 31st, 2006
    But why are men still unconvinced?

One of the main reasons why Tony Blair came to power in 1997 and was returned in 2001 and 2005 was his success with the female vote.

From a situation where women were traditionally more Conservative than men the political gender balance was completely changed. But might that all be going back?

    For from the latest detailed polling data there are signs that the Tory recovery is coming from a huge change in female support – men are still relatively unmoved.

Looking at the gender split of Tory support in ICM Guardian polls since the week of the General Election there’s been a big turnaround. These are the numbers:-

ICM Tory shares – Gender split
May 05: MALE 37% FEMALE 28% (General Election poll)
JUN 05: MALE 32% FEMALE 31%
JUL 05: MALE 31% FEMALE 31%
AUG 05: MALE 34% FEMALE 27%
SEP 05: MALE 29% FEMALE 32%
OCT 05: MALE 28% FEMALE 36% (Post Tory conference)
NOV 05: MALE 34% FEMALE 33%
DEC 05: MALE 38% FEMALE 36%
JAN 06: MALE 36% FEMALE 41%

We have to be careful, of course, taking a sub-set of data in a poll and we need further survey results to see if this trend is there.

But it is not just ICM that is showing Cameron’s Conservatives are well ahead with the female vote – data from the YouGov survey last Friday has Female:Male support for the Tories at 41-36 – the same as ICM.


    What this means for the future is hard to predict but if Cameron wants to win the next General Election his party needs to be making headway amongst men as well.

This might be being driven by Cameron’s personal appeal to women as well as the policy agenda he has sought to impose on his party. We need to track this closely in the coming months as well examining the gender split on views on Gordon Brown.

Labour, meanwhile, continue to be 0.9/1 betting favourite to win most seats at the nexr General Election.

Mike Smithson






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