The six 'tribes' of voter our politicians are trying to appeal to

While the result of the upcoming general election is difficult to predict, the people whose votes the political parties are trying to hunt are becoming increasingly easier to identify.

To help voters pick their way through the demography, the Independent on Sunday - with the help of Playmobil - has identified six key groups in this handy, tongue-in-cheek guide:

Settled Silvers

These are the comfortably-off over-60s, still in work or drawing a decent pension – or both – who are enjoying their entitlements such as the Winter Fuel Allowance, free bus passes and free TV licence.

They are worried about immigration and Europe. Both the Conservatives – who are pledging to keep benefits for wealthier pensioners – and Ukip want their votes.

Squeezed Semis

Slightly older than the Harassed Hipsters (see below), they are the second key group for Labour’s family-focused election strategy. They are married couples on low to middle incomes who own unpretentious semi-detached homes in suburban areas.

In 2001, these were the Pebbledash People sought by the Conservatives. Now the pebbledash is gone and a modest conservatory has been built at the back.

Aldi Woman

In 1997 and 2001 she was Worcester Woman – a middle-class Middle Englander shopping at Marks & Spencer and Waitrose.

Today, the age of austerity means she still goes to Waitrose for her basic food shop but cannily switches to Aldi for her luxury bargains such as Parma ham and prosecco. Identified by Caroline Flint, she is a key target of both Labour and the Conservatives.

Glass Ceiling Woman

In her thirties or forties, she has an established career under her belt, perhaps in the “marzipan layer” – one position below the still male-dominated senior executive level.

She is now, according to Nick Clegg, forced into making the “heart-breaking choice” between staying at home to bring up her children and going to work and forking out for high-cost, round-the-clock childcare.

Harassed Hipsters

One of the two key groups identified by Labour as crucial to hand Ed Miliband the keys to Downing Street. Well-paid professional couples, often with children, they live in diverse urban and metropolitan areas rather than the suburbs.

More comfortably off than most swing voters, they are time poor – struggling to balance raising a young family with busy work schedules.

Neo-Greens

These are mainly first-time voters, though some are in their twenties – students and digital-age generation renters helping to fuel the “Green Surge”.

Idealists, but with no tribal loyalty to any party, they are anti-austerity, middle class, living in urban areas. Despite studying at university or recently graduated, they are struggling to find decent jobs and want cheaper housing and a higher minimum wage.

Keep reading...Show less
Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)