YouGov have published some polling, conducted within the last week on which groups the voters identify the Tory Party and the Labour Party with. The findings aren’t that surprising. The Tories are perceived to be really close to the rich, businessmen/The City, and voters in the south. Whilst Labour are seen as being really close to trade unions, the working class, and benefit claimants.
The most interesting finding from this polling was that the Tories are seen as being not close to older people, and that Labour have better net rating with how close they are to older people. Now whilst not every older person is a pensioner, you can make a strong case that the segment of society that the governments of David Cameron have looked after the most is older voters, particularly pensioners. Recently the work and pensions select committee announced that they would investigate claims that baby boomers get more out of the state than they put in while younger generations lose out.
I suspect the reason for this particular polling finding is that Labour is seen as being close to benefit claimants, as they have been for a while, and older people such as pensioners because as recipients of the state pension are seen as benefit claimants, whilst with the benefit cap, the Tories are seen as no friends of benefit claimants.
This shows that once again in politics sometimes perceptions matter more than the facts, especially when you consider that a month ago, Iain Duncan Smith resigned as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions ‘because he was frustrated that Downing Street and the Treasury refused to consider controversial cuts to universal pensioner benefits…Friends of the former work and pensions secretary said he was fed up of being asked â€œagain and againâ€ for cuts to working age benefits and those for disabled people, while the money spent on older voters remained untouched.’