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What women want: why women will decide the next election.

In a report co-authored by Christabel Cooper and the Institute's Director Professor Rosie Campbell for Labour Together, the pivotal role of women in shaping the outcome of the UK’s next general election is explored. It reveals:

  • In almost every election from 1945 to 2015, the Labour party won more votes from men than from women, making Britain an international outlier. In the US, divisive social issues such as abortion had pushed women to the left much longer ago, in the 1980s. But in Britain, the Conservative party won more votes from women than men until as recently as 2017.

  • This has now changed: new polling puts Labour ahead of the Conservatives by 28 points among women. Yet despite this substantial shift, a quarter of women are still undecided on how they will vote. They could therefore be critical to the outcome of the next election, and a lot could change over the next 12 months to shift women's opinions.

  • Another significant shift – with implications for the future – is the growing gender divide in political views among young people. A new generation of young women are leaning more to the left, on both social and economic issues, than young men, who are becoming more conservative. How this plays out in the coming years could shape the electoral landscape in Britain.

Project status: Completed

Principal Investigator