Posts Tagged ‘socialism’

The ‘cross-pressured clans’ of British politics: a quarter of the electorate and their values

Having explained how clusters of the electorate have shaped the UK political landscape, Paula Surridge, Michael Turner, Robert Struthers, and Clive McDonnell focus on two of the most ‘cross-pressured’ of these clusters. They analyse their political behaviour in order to illustrate why understanding voters according to their values on multiple dimensions rather than on the traditional ‘left-right’ divide is more crucial than ever.

In our previous piece we introduced the ten values clans identified in the BMG Research report ‘Fractured Politics’. These clans are based on a range of social and economic values. In a political system where the party choice is relatively restricted, and historically the key dividing line between the two main parties has been only on the economic dimension, this produces clans who are ‘cross-pressured’ in their values, sharing the economics of one of the main political parties but not sharing the social values associated with them.

Two clans are caught in this position, the ‘Proud and Patriotic State’ (PPS) and the ‘Orange Bookers’ (OB). The PPS clan are broadly left-wing in their economic values (favouring redistribution and renationalisation) but are socially conservative (with negative views of immigration and multiculturalism, gender equality and identity, and punitive views of law and order). The OB clan, in contrast, has broadly right-wing (or ‘liberal’) economic views but combine this with liberal social values and are in favour of multi-culturalism, gender equality, and take much less punitive views on law and order.

The PPS clan are the largest, making up 15% of the electorate. It is worth stressing this point. The single largest values group within the British electorate have no ‘natural’ party to support as they prefer left-wing economics and social conservativism. The OB clan are less numerous, accounting for 8% of the electorate. Taken together, these cross-pressured clans are one in four of the electorate.

This cross-pressured position is reflected in the political behaviour of these clans, particularly in 2015 before the ‘other’ party’ vote had collapsed. In 2015, around one in four of each of these groups voted for a party outside of the main two parties. The PPS group were the clan most likely to have supported UKIP in 2015 (UKIP gained a 22% share of the vote in this clan), while the OB group were the most likely to have supported the Liberal Democrats (who gained a 19% share among this clan). This highlights how ‘other’ parties, less clearly defined by a single left-right dimension, can attract the votes of these cross-pressured clans. This is especially the case where these ‘other’ parties make strong appeals based on social values (socially conservative values in the case of UKIP and socially liberal values for the Liberal Democrats).

As well as their 2015 voting behaviour, these two clans are particularly distinctive in the education qualifications of their members. The OB clan are the most highly educated of all the clans, well over half of this group hold a degree level qualification (or higher); in contrast the PPS clan are least well educated having both the lowest proportion with a degree and the highest proportion with no qualifications.

The groups are also distinct in terms of their household incomes. Over a third of those in the OB group are in the top 25% of household incomes, compared with less than 15% of the PPS. It is this combination of the economic and the social which produces these cross-pressured positions. The economic interests of the OB group are most likely to be best served by low taxation, but their high levels of education also lead to liberal attitudes on other issues. For the PPS group higher taxation and welfare spending is likely to be in their economic interest but a lack of education leads them to be conservative on social issues.

This is further reflected in the issues they feel are most pressing for the country. For the OB group it is Brexit which most exorcises them: more than 40% of this group say leaving the EU is the most important issue facing society. The NHS appears as their second most important issue, though some way behind Brexit as a concern. The PPS group are much less likely to say Brexit is the most important issue and among this group both immigration (28%) and the NHS (22%) are greater causes for concern. This divide reflects the EU Referendum votes of the two clans. While the OB clan are overwhelmingly remain voters (more than eight in ten voted Remain), the PPS clan are equally overwhelmingly Leave voters.

Given that there were higher ‘third’ party shares for these groups in 2015 and the cross-pressured nature of their value positions, it is especially interesting to look at how they changed in voting behaviour between 2015 and 2017. When faced with parties which seemed to be in decline (and in some cases where no candidate was available), how did these voters negotiate the two main parties?

The OB clan were one of four who saw a declining share of the vote for the Conservatives between 2015 and 2017; these groups are the four most ‘liberal’ of the clans (they were also the four most pro-Remain though the largest swing away from the Conservatives is not among the most pro-Remain group). The PPS group saw a rise in the share of the vote for both the major parties, but this was much larger for the Conservatives than for Labour. In the 2017 election, it appears that economic values were outweighed by social values so that the two cross-pressured clans swung more according to their positions on issues such as multiculturalism, gender equality and the environment than on their position on taxation and welfare.

These cross-pressured clans are especially interesting and sharply illustrate the analytical power of understanding groups according to their value clusters on multiple dimensions rather than relying on ‘old’ heuristics such as ‘left-right’ position or socio-economic position alone. These groups make up almost a quarter of the electorate and the current major parties seem to be unable to make appeals to them that connect with their ‘natural’ economic leanings. It is among these cross-pressured clans that any ‘new’ political grouping could be created. While the political elite chatter endlessly about new ‘centrist’ parties, the voters for whom this pressure is felt most keenly are not in the ‘centre’ of politics but rather combine opposing poles of economic and social domains.


The detailed report on this research can be found here. You can find your values clan by answering the questions here.

About the Authors
Paula Surridge is Senior Lecturer at the University of Bristol.




Michael Turner is Research Director & Head of Polling at BMG Research.



Robert Struthers is a Senior Research Executive at BMG Research.



Clive McDonnell is a Data Analyst at BMG Research.


Socialism and the Grave

Socialism and the Grave

One of my favourite cities in the world is Buenos Aires, Argentina. My wife and I would travel there to enjoy the calmer atmosphere and culture that was a contrast to manic mayhem of Brazilian cities. In this particular year we were there for Christmas.

After a Christmas dinner at one of my favourite restaurants in the neighbourhood of Recoleta, we decided to go for a stroll in the famous cemetery, a very fascinating place. Laid out like a city for the dead, the Recoleta Cemetery has streets with their names on signposts and houses for dead people, all of different types and sizes that reflect the stature of the families of their occupiers, just like any other living city. There’s a select part of town with its mansion-like mausoleums and there is a more down-to-earth part of town with its far more modest accommodation.

Somewhere between the two extremes, in a very tasteful but relatively modest grave lies Eva Peron. Looking through the wrought-iron gates, the sun was shining on her black coffin. It seemed to me that this was a much nicer way to be interred than being buried in a six-foot hole in the ground or burnt in an oven.

Recoleta is an affluent neighbourhood and its cemetery includes many notable people such as presidents and top businessmen. These types of cemeteries are common throughout countries dominated by the Roman Catholic religion such as in South America. They tend to reflect the neighbourhood where they’re situated but they’re not all as pleasant as the one at Recoleta.

When my wife first showed me her family’s grave in Sao Paulo, I looked at it as a person looking at  a potential new house, after all there was a good chance that I might be incarcerated there myself. This particular house wasn’t as grand as those at Recoleta, it was smaller and looked a bit gloomy inside. I wanted to lie in sunlight like Eva Peron.

On the stone shelves inside, about half were occupied, the others were waiting for new occupants. The coffins would be laid on a shelf and then they were bricked up. My wife’s father’s shelf had obviously been broken into and hastily repaired. When I asked my wife about this, she told me that shortly after her father was incarcerated, grave robbers had broken in looking for gold teeth and fillings.

For us in the West, it seems hard to imagine the type of person that would break into a coffin and pull the teeth out of a corpse, but perhaps it is something our government would like us to get used to.

Sometimes, even the Guardian newspaper has an article worth reading, such as this one:

Overstretched cities – Graveyard living: inside the ‘cemetery slums’ of Manila

The above article is well worth a read. This subject has been reported on elsewhere, but it is still frightening to us here in the West. Just like the grave robbers of Sao Paulo, the thought of setting up a home in a grave or mausoleum is unthinkable.

Brazil, up until the recent election of Bolsonaro, along with many Third World countries around the world, has had a history of Socialist governments, Governments that, with smiling reassurances, claim to have the interests of the poor at heart and yet here they are – pulling the teeth out of corpses and living in graves in their attempts to survive.

I’ve written about the exploding population of the Third World before (see here), it is horribly out of control, and in desperation their populations are heading our way. In the Third World, they breed without any thought of how they are going to raise their offspring and then expect us to pay. This is the reality of the Globalist, Marxist ideology.

Of course, immigration will do nothing to solve the problems of the Third World. There are just too many people and we’ll end up committing suicide along with them.

As our population explodes through immigration, we on our little island are having to accommodate the equivalent of an extra major city every year. We usually cremate people here and so we don’t have the extra housing capacity.

We’re being told that we must support hundreds of thousands of extra people a year, the majority of those are from a totally alien culture with completely different values. All of this at a time when our industry has migrated overseas and many are trying to cope with the runaway cost of living with part time jobs and zero hours contracts. The numbers just don’t add up. With Socialism the numbers never do make sense though do they.

We voted to leave the European Union, a Socialist, Marxist construct (call it what you will), that, while preaching the same smiling reassurances and altruism, is driving us rapidly towards the Third World while these Eurocrats sip champagne.

As Theresa May and her government have collaborated with the European Union under the pretence of negotiating our supposed exit from the EU, the very last thing that they are prepared to let us do is control our borders and pursue more lucrative trade deals globally.

I’ve painted a very bleak but very realistic and true picture here and this reality will be your future if you don’t confront Theresa May and her government as this Brexit negotiation betrayal enters its final stages.

Lib, Lab or Con, they are all fundamentally the same in their determination to cling to the European Union, they’re all Marxists.

If we can’t escape the clutches of the European Union now, your children and grandchildren are going to end up living with the dead.


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