Leading up to the by-elections in Tamworth and Mid-Bedfordshire on 19th October, Find Out Now conducted constituency-specific polls with 181 participants from Tamworth and 215 from Mid Bedfordshire.
- Discrepancy between high voter turnout certainty in polls and lower actual turnout in Tamworth.
- Shifts among 2019 Tory voters, with some turning to Labour and others to different right-wing parties.
- Labour retained more 2019 voters compared to the Tories; some defectors leaned toward the Green Party, though sample size limitations apply.
Caveats of data
Our objectives encompassed predicting the by-election outcomes and gaining insights into voter behaviour. However, the inherent limitations of small sample sizes require caution in drawing precise conclusions. Additionally, the Mid Bedfordshire and Tamworth polls were constructed differently. The biggest difference being the inclusion of a ‘prefer not to say’ option in the Mid Bedfordshire questions but not in the Tamworth ones. This will invariably mean that both data sets aren’t directly comparable (although there are some comparisons which provide useful insights).
Exploring Voter Turnout Discrepancies
|Percentage who said they were “certain to vote”.||50%||48%|
|Those who said that their likelihood to vote was 5 or above.||72%||67%|
A divergence emerged when comparing our voter turnout predictions with actual by-election results. In the Tamworth poll, 50% of respondents expressed absolute certainty that they would vote with a rating of 10 on a 0-10 scale. This didn’t align with reality, as only 36% of Tamworth’s electorate participated in the by-election. In the Mid Bedfordshire poll, 48% indicated certainty about voting, which on the surface closely matched the actual 44% turnout. Upon closer examination, 67% of respondents indicated a likelihood to vote at 5 or higher, suggesting a more significant pool of potential voters.
2019 Tory Voters Behaviour
Our data revealed a bias toward smaller parties, with minority parties playing a substantial role in the overall outcome. Notably, 2019 Tory voters exhibited poor retention, with two noteworthy shifts. In Mid Bedfordshire, 7% of former Tory voters defected to Labour, a figure rising to 17% in Tamworth. This raises questions about the Tory party’s ability to maintain its voter base in core constituencies, challenging claims from some Tory MPs that Labour has failed to win over 2019 Conservative voters.
Additionally, the presence of right-wing parties like UKIP, Reform, and Britain First added complexity to the political landscape, dividing the right-wing vote and potentially eroding the Tory base. Our poll indicated that 12% of 2019 Tory voters chose Reform, although the actual by-election results showed a lower percentage. This split was evident in the actual by-election results, with Reform receiving 5% of votes in Tamworth, surpassing Labour’s lead over the Conservatives.
2019 Labour Voter Behaviour
Our poll highlighted that Labour’s 2019 voters were more likely to vote for the party again, with Labour retaining 55% of its 2019 voters in Mid Bedfordshire and 77% in Tamworth. However, defections still occurred, with those who did defect often turning to the Green Party in Tamworth, indicating alignment with environmental and progressive values. In Mid Bedfordshire, 24% of Labour’s 2019 voters preferred not to disclose their voting preferences, a proportion similar to their Tory 2019 counterparts.
It’s important to note a minor deviation, with a small number of Labour defectors turning to Britain First in the Tamworth by-election. Nevertheless, the significance of smaller parties is influenced by the small sample size. In Tamworth, only 26 interviews were conducted with 2019 Labour voters, and 22 in Mid Bedfordshire, underscoring the need for caution in drawing broad conclusions from such limited data.
About The Survey
Find Out Now interviewed 181 adults from 2023-10-10 to 2023-10-18 from the parliamentary constituency of Tamworth.
Find Out Now also interviewed 215 adults from 2023-10-17 to 2023-10-20 from the parliamentary constituency of Mid Bedfordshire.
Find Out Now are members of the British Polling Council and Market Research Society and abide by their rules.
For further information, or to request a poll or survey, contact us on email@example.com.