Mumsnet/Mori report on Women Voters

(69 Posts)
JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Sun 15-Sep-13 09:10:54

Just a quick heads up about a project we've done with Ipsos Mori that gets some coverage in the Sunday Times today (£). For a while there's been a fair bit of talk both about David Cameron's so-called women problem and how important the female vote is going to be come this election.

So we teamed up with Ipsos MORI to delve into the subject a little bit more. The folks at MORI have conducted national, weighted polls examining women's feelings about about each of the main leaders and parties. Meanwhile we've been conducting a qualitative online focus group of 100 Mumsnet users to interrogate those feelings in a bit more depth.

There's lots of juicy stuff in there - in truth all the party leaders seem to have "room for improvement" in women's eyes. Do have a look and let us know what you think.

OP’s posts: |
PacificDogwood Sun 15-Sep-13 13:18:21

Marking my place until I've had time to look at this.

Women problem?? Really? hmm
I missed Shiney Dave saying that...

KatyPutTheCuttleOn Sun 15-Sep-13 13:19:58

Marking my place as well.

HeroineChick Sun 15-Sep-13 18:44:14

Remember when he came for a web chat here and said that families in receipt of Tax Credits wouldn't lose out under the Conservatives?

Good old Dave.

Women problem, indeed.

Keffi88 Mon 16-Sep-13 10:02:46

I am in despair of public school educated, career politicians propped up by similarly educated 'group think' corporations who consider nepotism the norm and are turning the UK into a Patrician/Plebian state. Shiny Dave and Duplicitous Nick believe that they have the 'right' to rule and neither understand, or care about, the consequences of their inadequate governance on ordinary families.

ButThereAgain Mon 16-Sep-13 10:05:27

I think it's more that women have a David Cameron problem.

SunshineSuperNova Mon 16-Sep-13 10:07:08

Well said Keffi.


minidipper Mon 16-Sep-13 10:23:25

Any chance those of us who took part could have access to the full article without having to buy the Sunday Times or sign up to it online?

ButThereAgain Mon 16-Sep-13 10:32:15

If, like me, you can't get behind the Times paywall, there is an article on Politics Home about the survey.

I was struck by this fact: "42% of women would back Labour, compared to just 29% who would vote Conservative. While the Conservative’s share among men (31%) is similar to that among women, men are less likely than women to back Labour (35%)." It's doubly interesting, first because I wonder how Labour's trailing among men relates to the decline of its traditional union base, the growing proportion of women in unions, and the growing antipathy between Labour and unions -- Labour's history as a party of union solidarity tied it with something historically rather masculine and so the masculinity of the party is unravelling with the death of union-based politics?

But secondly, given that Labour is doing badly among men, I wonder whether we will hear more about "Ed Miliband's 'men problem'" I suspect not, and I think that discrepancy reflects the marginalisation of women in politics, They are seen as a special little box to be ticked, one of a range of 'minority' demographics, a homogenous group to be dealt with and appealed to on the basis of its members' gender. I'm not sure that politics would very readily treat the male vote in the same way.

SarahMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 16-Sep-13 10:37:33

Hey minidipper,

You can read the report on Sky News, which isn't behind a paywall - and you can see all our coverage (and links to the focus group threads) over here. HTH!

EduCated Mon 16-Sep-13 10:39:39

But secondly, given that Labour is doing badly among men, I wonder whether we will hear more about "Ed Miliband's 'men problem'" I suspect not, and I think that discrepancy reflects the marginalisation of women in politics, They are seen as a special little box to be ticked, one of a range of 'minority' demographics, a homogenous group to be dealt with and appealed to on the basis of its members' gender. I'm not sure that politics would very readily treat the male vote in the same way.

This, absolutely, completely and utterly this. I hate that I am thought of as a 'woman voter' rather than just, y'know, a plain old 'voter'. We never talk about the 'male vote'.

Also place marking to read properly later. Sounds like interesting research.

ButThereAgain Mon 16-Sep-13 12:16:03

Just to be a bit clearer than I was before, Labour does have a 4% lead over the tories among men according to IPSOS/MORI, but they have three times that lead among women, so they are dependent on women for an overall lead that is even halfway respectable for an opposition party in a climate where politics is crisis-ridden and govt actions are deeply controversial. So we could easily think in terms of Labour's worrying failure to bring home the male vote.

"Solidarity," a leftist buzzword, used to have overtones of masculinity, because of its association with employee solidarity in a largely male workforce and trades union movement. There was even, I think, the misogynistic idea that women were somehow less capable of solidarity than men, they were seen as isolated and competing for status in their domestic setting while men were together and engaged in class cooperation in the workforce. Now that worker solidarity is weaker and relatively powerless (and Labour is so terrified of seeming to have any time at all for trades unions), do different models of solidarity have more salience? "Solidarity," the defensive unity of people partially dispossessed by an unjust distribution, is still a leftist virtue, but when we cast around for surviving images of it are we more likely to light on something female than we were? things like women coming together to support one another in childcare, and also perhaps the feminist imagery of sisterhood. That alteration in the gender connotations of solidarity could be spoken of in terms of a "men problem" for the left?

I suspect that in earlier decades when women were more likely than men to vote Tory, that was spoken of as a "woman problem" for the left. Now that we have tipped the other way, we are still the problem, just somebody else's problem.

MrsJohnHarrison Mon 16-Sep-13 13:07:08

marking place till i can have a good look.

Jagdkuh Mon 16-Sep-13 14:01:46

to all the people 'marking' their 'place' - why are you doing this?

read the article, and then give your opinion.

if you have not read the article, you have no opinion regarding it, therefore you have no need to post, and especially to the people who do it on the 2nd/3rd/4th post - only way people will ever read what you write?

your not exactly adding content, are you.

EduCated Mon 16-Sep-13 14:04:22

As opposed to your oh so insightful comment?

Jagdkuh Mon 16-Sep-13 14:13:38

Educated you realise the irony of your last comment I hope?

on topic, I don't know why anyone would wish to vote conservative unless it was for their own monetary gain. they offer little to nothing for the majority of the general public.

EduCated Mon 16-Sep-13 14:28:28

Oh this is a catch 22 of irony overload. I hope you appreciate that too.

And I'm still marking my

EduCated Mon 16-Sep-13 14:28:52

*place for later, when I've had chance to read it properly wink

HorryIsUpduffed Mon 16-Sep-13 15:49:27

Most senior politicians are cut from the same cloth, regardless of party affiliation. Privileged white men have to have good policies, not just good teeth, to appeal to real women. And good policy ideas are very thin on the ground just now, as opposed to rhetoric and "personality".

Are women feeling the cuts more than men, perhaps? Are they more likely to be struggling to find appropriate paid work? to feed their families as they'd like on their current household income? to notice staff shortages in schools and hospitals?

I read the ST article yesterday in an actual paper made of paper and wasn't impressed. It wasn't substantial and certainly isn't worth paywall. Hoping links to the Ipsos data and MN threads give more detail.

DuelingFanjo Mon 16-Sep-13 15:58:26

your link to the Tory Voter comments appears not to be working. I am on Chrome.

JulieMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 16-Sep-13 16:49:51


your link to the Tory Voter comments appears not to be working. I am on Chrome.

Hi, DuelingFanjo. That should be working now.

PacificDogwood Mon 16-Sep-13 16:55:29

I totally agree with everything Keffi said.

And ButThereAgain - other than election campaign strategists, why would anybody differentiate between the 'woman vote' and the 'man vote'; it's annoying enough when they bang on about 'first time voters' and 'pensioners' as if every 'group', minority or otherwise, had to thrown a bone or carrot to get them to vote in the desired direction, andn implying IMO that nobody in any group is capable of looking at the bigger picture beyond their own self-interest <fuming>

I am sure the way the country 'should' be run to satisfy my selfish needs (married, a bunch of kids, professional job, time poor - cash 'rich') would be quite different from, say, a single parent's. That does NOT mean that I would not vote to support them, rather than the 0.1% of the population who benefit most from our current taxation and legislation.

I do distrust all politicians (anybody who wants power is probably least suited to actually get it - I am not sure how to get around that one hmm) and therefore vote according to general 'ideals' I still garner.

'Tis all without a point anyway as I cannot vote in Britain grin doesn't stop me ranting sorry.

Jagdkuh, people mark their place so they can find threads on their 'theads I'm on' bit more easily - at least that's what I do.

EduCated Mon 16-Sep-13 17:05:59

Having looked at it all a bit more, I feel a bit meh about it all.

The whole idea of 'woman voters' seems so overly simplistic and generalising. Why am I lumped in with every other woman, regardless of interests? It seems that by dint of my being female, I'm supposed to care about a specific set of concerns, such as childcare and maternity matters. And I do, but they are far less pressing concerns in my life than many other matters. As a single female in my early twenties, I am probably much more similar to a male voter in his early twenties, than an older, married woman with children and a mortgage. Or even to a married woman with children and a mortgage who is the same age as me.

So why is my vote a 'female' vote? Why isn't a single, renting, professional, early twenties, educationally minded, tea drinking, Sainsbury's shopping vote, blonde haired vote? Each of these things impact on who I am, and therefore, how I vote.

Please don't take this as criticism of the research, it is interesting and useful, and women are marginalised in politics so any kind of focus is helpful. It's more of a sad musing on society and how I, as a woman, am still pigeon-holed by those in charge.

I don't think it helps that my impression of politicians appealing to the 'female' vote is of them patronisingly reassuring us that they'll look after us, all with a charming smile hmm

poppetsaplenty Mon 16-Sep-13 21:44:47

Welfare reforms have disproportionately affected women; there was a report published last week about the gender impact of welfare reform

Some of the main points of the report were that welfare reforms have a regressive effect on women's independence and mobility - e.g. benefits paid to the main earner (usually male) which means that women have to ask their partners for money that should be paid for the child's benefit.

Also in times of economic stress - women are 'shock absorbers' for the family - research has shown that it is usually women who absorb financial crises by skipping meals / going without so that there family doesn't suffer.

I'm not surprised that women voters are less favourable to the coalition

poppetsaplenty Mon 16-Sep-13 21:45:14


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