Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
oaksoft

Why Do the Working Classes Vote Tory?

Recommended Posts

There's a lot of nonsense on other threads about people voting Tory because they are racists, bigots, self-serving or ill-educated. More than one poster seems to genuinely believe that the Tories want to "murder poor people" and that their voters explicitly want to approve that. More posters seem genuinely confused about how anyone from the working class could ever vote Tory. In light of this, I have started a thread here to provide a little insight.

Having previously lived and worked amongst the working class in England for more than a decade and also grown up in that environment, here are my thoughts.

1) The working classes in England are overwhelmingly made up of people who are strivers and ambitious either for themselves or their childrens futures.

2) When this type of person runs into trouble they want to know there is a functioning welfare state and NHS behind them to help.

3) Their first thought when losing their job isn't "How much ur ma benefits gonnae be?"
It's "I need to get a new job immediately and I'll take anything - zero hours contracts, cleaning jobs, 2 or 3 part time jobs. Whatever it takes to get off state handouts whilst I actively and obsessively look for a job that I actually want and which pays well." 

4) They therefore want to vote for the party most likely to provide a healthy economic and business environment with low taxes. There's absolutely no point in having welfare money thrown at them if taxes are going up making it harder to find new jobs (which is what they really want) because it just traps people in poverty.

5) If Brexit happens, it is reasonable to assume that there will be fewer people competing for jobs and so that leads to more job opportunities and higher wages. As with all other sectors of society there's some racism but you'd be wrong to think this was either a main driver or predominately a working class problem.

6) They are a VERY proud bunch and even those using foodbanks don't necessarily see themselves as victims of anything and certainly won't respond well to being patronised as such.

7) They generally don't give a f**k about which rich person is earning what. Like vegetarianism and green issues, that's a middle class issue. When there's food to be put on the table the focus is very much on yourself as it needs to be.

That is the working classes in a nutshell.

Now ask yourself why party is best placed to deliver all of that?

In the absence of the SNP choice in England, if your answer is Labour or anyone else other than the Tories then you weren't paying attention. Just like Corbyn, McDonnell, Momentum and a staggering number of posters on here.

Why would they vote for higher taxes? Why would they vote for someone prepared to scrap zero hour contracts? Why would they vote for someone who wants to incentivise people to sit on their arses all day on enough benefits to make a lifestyle out of it whilst they have to struggle along and help pay for it all?

That is why many of these people vote Tory.

Edited by oaksoft

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They voted Tory for the same reasons that in the US people voted for trump. These people are struggling in former areas with links to heavy industries which is now closed. They therefore feel left out due to globalisation. People like farage and Johnson took advantage of that. They promised to bring back the glory days of the empire and trade deals galore if only we left the pesky EU with its rules and regulations. So the referendum was won.

Now in this election they came up with "get Brexit done" labour were cast as the villains holding everyone back from this. So we end up with Tories

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I put it down to a combination of low intelligence, limited education, being servile and being easily influenced.

Throw in some racist xenophobia and that just about covers it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a complicated issue but I think there are several key factors.

 

Populism with simplistic slogans backed up by a pliant MSM is one good reason.

 

We've had 45+ years of the MSM drip dripping what is essentially a racist narrative regards the EU - it's surprising that the EU referendum vote was as close as it was.

 

If you repeat something often enough it often becomes the truth to some people. The EU became the scapegoat for the failures of the UK governments - predominantly Tory governments (28 out of the last 40 years).

 

There is also the sad reality that in many of these places the Labour Party have been in power and wasted opportunities to improve the lot of working class people. It's why the SNP came to power in Scotland - people were fed up of the so-called workers party not actually looking after working people - either at a local level or a national level - too busy building their own personal fiefdoms.

 

I also get a real sense of resentment from Midlands and Northern constituencies towards London - I've said before that far too many decisions in this country are made for the benefit of London only and not the country as a whole. Labour were viewed by many as being for London only and the metropolitan elite.

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It wasn't so much them increasing their vote for Tories as it only increased by 1%.

It was more the failure of Labour and the split of votes between them and the Lib Dems letting the Tories in.

So stupidity then, aye.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1) i agree with this

2) this in no way explains why they vote tory

3) zero hours contracts are a damning indictment of right wing policy and no amount of bUt Muh gIG eCoNOmY alters that 

4) and 5) contradict each other

6) examine base causes of why the last 10 years have necessitated an explosion in foodbanks

7) depends how said rich person earned/earns his/her money. My old boy, for example; a trade unionist (although not English and wouldn't be caught dead voting Conservative) who still goes to retired members' meetings sees LeBron James as working class because he has to go out to work to earn his living. 

Edited by carpetmonster

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Poorly informed and terrified of “all them Johnny Foreigners coming and taking my job”.

They’ve been lied to for yours and in actual fact it’s not been hard for the Tories to get them to buy into the fact that foreigners coming in to the country are to blame for unemployment and that they could be next if we don’t get rid of them.

I’m fairly happy with how last night/this morning went but seeing so many traditional working class constituencies that have been in Labour hands for so many years suddenly turn Tory is pretty indicative of how England and Scotland have such opposing views politically.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When you look at the data most of the most deprived areas are Labour and Labour get by far the most support from low income people. They were talking about miners voting Tory in Blyth despite the mines shutting 30 years ago. The miners are long retired, dead or they moved away to find work.

When you look at places like Blyth Valley and Sedgefield the question is why wouldn't they vote Tory. They are places which are full of old people, have no industries and are pretty rural. It's the same thing as Banff and Buchan and Moray.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Being thick as f**k.

Being fooled into thinking that the Conservatives can be trusted to fix the mistakes that they themselves made.

Certain parties convincing the masses that Labour were somehow going to flood the UK with illegal immigrants.

The lack of a convincing opposition.

If a lie is repeated often enough, it becomes the truth.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The ideology of individualism has always been very strong in England. It is what made England lead the way with the Empire, industrial revolution etc.  The whole "an Englishman's home is his castle" has always rung very true. The average working class Englishman thinks himself superior to all others, not in a racist way though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Putting my sensible hat on for this one.

There's a multitude of reasons.

Firstly, I don't think that there's been as big a switch of the working class to the Tories that's being implied. Many of them for example, will be pensioners. There's a reason why socio-economic experts are moving away from the ABC1 C2DE model.

Brexit is a huge wedge issue that cuts through class divides. The messaging on this was clear cut from the Tories and not from Labour. 

The media. Up to 90% of the media is controlled by those who support and bankroll the Tories. If the only current affairs news you get is limited to The Sun, Facebook and the BBC, it probably becomes easier to vote Tory.

Nationalism. When one side is rightly or wrongly portrayed as anti British, anti Royalty, pro terrorist, pro immigrant. The narrative sticks, despite the other side's record on these subjects.

Finally, yes racist morons. It's not the only reason the English working class vote Tory, and maybe not the biggest one either, but it is a factor. To deny this is to deny the existence of these racist morons in the first place.

All of the above all tie into each other in places too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, oaksoft said:

Their first thought when losing their job isn't "How much ur ma benefits gonnae be?"
It's "I need to get a new job immediately and I'll take anything - zero hours contracts, cleaning jobs, 2 or 3 part time jobs. Whatever it takes to get off state handouts whilst I actively and obsessively look for a job that I actually want and which pays well." 

Stereotypes and generalisations. Scotland - benefit junkies, implied by your choice of expression, whilst England - hard workers, great work ethic.

What a load of unsubstantiated tosh but well done for answering your own question. Oh, and the only insight is into how you see the state of things.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's an interesting question and one that deserves better than oaksoft's gormless attempt to splice personal bias, anecdotes and tired stereotypes about some kind of cockney market-stall geezer with a pocket full of jellied eels and heart full of dreams.

I think it's fair to say that one of the main differences between the way Scotland and England voted in the recent past was the 'working class Tory' effect in England that wasn't there to the same extent in Scotland. As Henderson to deliver points out though, the class voting gap has narrowed significantly to the point where in 2017 YouGov said it had closed and is "no longer a very good indicator of voting intention".

By far and away the best indicator of voting intention is age. In 2017 Labour thumped the Tories in every age bracket below 50 and won comfortably more votes amongst non-retirees than the Tories did. 

The second best indicator is education level. The less formal education you have, the more likely to vote Tory you are. Although there's certainly a lot of overlap with age there as pensioners tend to have less formal education than younger generations.

https://yougov.co.uk/topics/politics/articles-reports/2017/06/13/how-britain-voted-2017-general-election

These are UK-wide figures so I'd expect they're a good proxy for England. It would be extremely interesting to see if Scotland's results showed any significant deviations in the trends.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The ideology of individualism has always been very strong in England. It is what made England lead the way with the Empire, industrial revolution etc.  The whole "an Englishman's home is his castle" has always rung very true. The average working class Englishman thinks himself superior to all others, not in a racist way though.


Yeah, no, it's absolutely in a racist way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The ideology of individualism has always been very strong in England. It is what made England lead the way with the Empire, industrial revolution etc.  The whole "an Englishman's home is his castle" has always rung very true. The average working class Englishman thinks himself superior to all others, not in a racist way though.

I think the Empire and Industrial revolution were actually British 'initiatives'

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The question is a better one than the lazy  nonsense which immediately follows it, would suggest.

I think there are clear differences between sensibilities (working class or otherwise) in England and Scotland.  I also think however that it's easy to overstate them.  

It annoys me a bit when the rise of the SNP gets lumped alongside the populist surges in lots of other places.  I don't think it is quite the same, and the claim is further undermined by the fact that it pre-dates the financial crash.  Nevertheless, there is something in it, in that Scottish Nationalism has an appeal for people 'left behind' in a similar way to what we all recognise as English nationalism.  It's a lot more palatable for many of us though, because the Scottish version is generally more left leaning.

I do think we're different here as evidenced by the Tories' failure to make inroads during the Thatcher years.  Again though, it's easy to be a bit self congratulatory.  We have our own difficulties with vile prejudice, and a football forum is probably the last place where that needs exposition.  I also think that racism is less likely to be an issue in communities where those of colour are likelier to be doctors than people who can be crudely characterised as drains on resources.

I'm just grateful that we've got a legitimate direction to turn in.  The question concerns whether structures allow that turn to be meaningful, as well as available.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, Monkey Tennis said:

Nevertheless, there is something in it, in that Scottish Nationalism has an appeal for people 'left behind' in a similar way to what we all recognise as English nationalism.  It's a lot more palatable for many of us though, because the Scottish version is generally more left leaning.

There's also a clear difference in the fundamental type of 'nationalism' we're talking about. Scottish nationalism is really just about Scotland becoming an independent nation state. I assume most nationalists would drop that label happily after independence. French, American, English, British, etc nationalism are fundamentally different in that way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...