Between the 28th – 29th September, BMG Research carried out an exclusive poll for HuffPost UK. A total of 1203 GB adults were asked a series of questions about potential Labour party policies, University mental health safeguarding, and Government-enforced energy price caps.
All respondents were shown a series of three Labour party policies, and were asked whether each of them would affect the likelihood of them voting for the Labour party. Respondents who indicated that they would already vote Labour at a general election were removed from the analysis. In all cases, the majority of respondents stated that the policies would make no difference, showing that most non-Labour voters are not willing to be swayed.
However, some policies certainly proved more popular than others. Making all owners of second homes pay an additional tax was the most popular with 29% saying it made them more likely to vote Labour and just 21% less likely, a potential net increase of 8%. For this policy, a randomised control trial (RCT) was run within the survey. One version stated that the policy was “Making all owners of second homes pay an additional tax”, in which 26% said they would be more likely to vote labour and 20% were less likely to vote Labour (54% stated it would make no difference). The second version of the policy was stated as “Making all owners of second homes pay an additional tax that would be used to help homeless children”, in which 31% said they would be more likely to vote labour and 22% were less likely to vote Labour (47% stated it would make no difference).
Significantly increasing the number of windfarms also looks to be somewhat of a vote winner with over a quarter (26%) saying it would make the more likely to vote Labour and just 19% saying it would make them less likely to vote for Labour. This policy was the most popular policy for respondents aged 35-54 (32%), degree-educated (35%) and Liberal Democrats (48%).
It appears the John McDonnel’s policy to force all companies to transfer up to 10% of their shares to their employees has split potential voters. A quarter (25%) of respondents stated that they would be more likely to vote for Labour, whilst a similar proportion (24%) said that they would be less likely. Interestingly, out of all three policies, this was most popular with Brits aged 18-34 (45%).
Government price caps
Respondents were also asked whether they would support or oppose a ‘cap’ on various goods and services. Firstly, they were asked if they would support a government ‘cap’ on energy prices, of which just under two thirds (64%) of Brits would. Afterwards, they were asked if they would support possible caps on other products and services. It should be noted, however, that respondents were not told any down-sides to introducing price caps on products and services.
Regardless, this series of questions does tell the reader two interesting things. Firstly, it shows that the majority of the British public are very much open to Government intervention in the economy. Secondly, it helps to give context to the potential popularity of energy price caps. It shows that actually capping rail fares would be the most popular, with 70% in favour of it. Capping energy prices are still highly supported, but only on the same level as insurance fees (65% support) and broadband charges (65%).
The future of cars
Last year, the government announced that all sales of diesel and petrol cars and vans will be banned by 2040, under plans to cut air pollution. In the exclusive survey for HuffPost UK, we asked Brits whether or not they support the future ban. Overall, far more support the ban than oppose it, with 41% of respondents supporting the ban and just 28% opposing it (30% neither support nor oppose). This is interesting given that the majority (57%) of the British public also consider ownership of a car or van as “essential”. Furthermore, less than 1% of respondents who own a car or a van stated that they own an electric vehicle.
Given the wide support for the 2040 ban, but low numbers of electric vehicle ownership, the development of vehicles that do not rely on diesel or petrol, such as electric cars, will have to increase drastically within the next 20 years. However, it appears that the public are already warming to the possibility of purchasing an electric vehicle. All respondents were asked whether they would seriously consider buying an electric vehicle, instead of petrol or diesel engine. Just below half (47%) of Brits said that they would seriously consider buying an electric vehicle, whilst just over a third (34%) said they would not seriously consider it (20% stated that they did not know). Interestingly, the proportion of respondents who would seriously consider buying an electric vehicle increases based on their household income. For example, just 38% of respondents whose household income is less than £20,000 would consider buying an electric vehicle. This increases to 61% for respondents with a household income of more than £60,000. This suggests that for many on lower incomes, electric vehicles are considered to be unaffordable.
Whilst the public are open to the idea of buying electric vehicles, it seems that self-driving cars are a step too far. When asked “Thinking about your next journey, if given the choice, would you choose a journey via a fully automated self-driving car, or would you choose a conventional person driven car journey”, the overwhelming majority (78%) said they would choose a conventional person-driven car journey.
In response to recent new stories about student mental health issues, BMG Research asked respondents who they felt should be responsible for safeguarding students in higher education (i.e. University and 18+ colleges) with mental health problems.
Nearly two thirds (64%) of participants stated that universities and colleges should be held responsible. Nearly half of respondents (49%) also thought that parents and carers should be held responsible. The students themselves (41%), the NHS (35%) and local authorities (32%) were also selected by around a third of respondents or more. Only 3% of respondents felt that no-one should be held responsible.
Respondents were then asked who they thought should be held most responsible. It is clear that the majority or respondents believe that Universities should bare the most responsibility, with 51% selecting them. Whilst 49% of respondents said that parents and carers should hold some responsibility, only 15% thought that parents and carers should be held most responsible.
Methodology, fieldwork dates, and a full breakdown of these results can be found here.
For a more detailed breakdown of results from this poll, or any other results from our polling series, please get in touch by email or phone.
0121 333 6006
Dr Michael Turner – Head of Polling
Andrew Price – Research Executive