General election '˜had biggest generation gap since 1970s'

Age divided the nation at the General Election more than in any other vote since the 1970s, a study suggests.

The general election had the biggest age divide since the 1970s.
The general election had the biggest age divide since the 1970s.

Research by Ipsos Mori suggests Labour’s vote share was swelled by the under-44s, with the biggest swing among 25 to 34-year-olds.

This coincided with a swing to the Conservatives among the over-55s, resulting in the biggest age gap since Ipsos Mori’s records began in 1979.

The polling firm found that turnout among young people was up on the 2015 election, matching the EU referendum.

This swing in age groups came at the same time as a reversal in traditional voting patterns between different classes.

There was a swing among the middle classes to Labour, while working classes moved to the Conservatives, with both parties achieving record vote shares in these groups.

Kully Kaur-Ballagan, research director at Ipsos Mori, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “We know that the Remain voters did go to Labour, and certainly the working class vote, we saw the collapse of Ukip and a lot of them did go to the Conservatives.

“But I think what we also noticed throughout the campaign, there was some attraction to some of the policies of the Labour Party.

“For example, we know education was the third biggest issue that people voted on, and that may have attracted some of the middle class voters.”

Education was another clear divide in voting patterns, according to Ipsos Mori.

The Conservatives had a large 17-point lead among those with no qualifications, and a smaller seven-point lead among those educated to below degree level.

Among graduates, though, Labour had a 15-point lead.

Labour peer Lord Adonis told Today that turnout was still lower among younger age groups than older people.

He said he will table a private members bill in Parliament to lower the voting age to 16.

Ipsos Mori interviewed 7,505 UK adults between April 21 and June 7.