This is what your name says about your politics

Dina Rickman@dinarickman
Sunday 12 April 2015 10:00
news

What's in a name? Quite a lot when it comes to politics.

As Joe Twynman, head of social and political research at YouGov detailed on Radio 4, a study of 46,000 people as found some links between first names and voting intentions. For example, people who are called Nigel are twice as likely to vote Ukip than the rest of the population.

"It is not actually that by giving somebody the name Nigel you bestow upon them certain views. Nigel tends to be a name for older men. You don't hear people saying 'we have named him Nigel'," Twynman said. "It is an older man's name and older men tend to be more likely to vote Ukip."

The research looked at the 130 most common names to determine which were the most and least likely to vote for the various political parties.

The three names most likely to vote for the Conservative party are Charlotte, Fiona and Pauline whereas those least likely to are Sharon, Samantha - unfortunately for the prime minister - and Clare without an I.

The three most likely to vote for Labour are Michelle, June and Andy and the least likely Nigel, Nick and Jonathan.

The most likely Liberal Democrat voting names are Tim, Kathryn and Samantha, whereas Lynne, Joan and June are the least likely.

Those most likely to vote Ukip are called Jill, Nigel and Terry, while Tom, Rachel and Alex are the least likely.

And even the spelling makes a difference. Twyman said Ann without an E came 27th in the list of most likely to vote Conservative, while Anne with an E was fourth.

Similarly, Carol without an E came 102nd in the list of names most likely to vote Conservative, while Carole with one was 14th.

There's also name bias for candidates: Research detailed by Galina Borisyuk in the book Sex Lies and the Ballot Box shows people are more likely to vote for candidates with British rather than non-European surnames, with Borisyuk saying: "We should acknowledge that currently there are some voters who are still reluctant to support candidates with unusual surnames."

Listen to Twynman talking about the research on Radio 4 below:

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Additional reporting: PA

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