Both Labour and the Conservatives need to broaden their appeal to middle England, according to new research out today.
A paper from the centre-right think tank Policy Exchange argues that Labour is still seen as the party of the poor and trade unionists, while the Tories remain most closely aligned with the wealthy. Policy Exchange focused on lower middle class and working class voters in 119 marginal seats. The majority of those surveyed, regardless of their political affiliation, said that they felt “overlooked and unrepresented” by politicians in Westminster.
Policy Exchange said it found that Labour was widely perceived as the party of those on benefits and trade union members, while the Conservatives were seen as being on the side of business and of the rich.
James Frayne, author of the report, said: “Vast swathes of the middle class – those just about managing – are overlooked as the parties increasingly focus their attention on those at the top and bottom.”
“The fact is that these voters decide elections and parties that want workable majorities in the long-term need to prioritise their concerns,” Frayne added.