21 April 2010: New research out today from Peverel Retirement shows retirees are likely to be the difference between success and failure for the Tories when the UK goes to the polls on 6 May.
A survey conducted by Opinion Matters on behalf of the UK’s leading property retirement company has found 34% of over 65-year-olds, approximately 3.3 million of the population, say they intend to vote for the Conservatives. This figure significantly exceeds support levels for the two main other parties, with only 14% and 13% of the same age group backing Labour and the Liberal Democrats respectively.
With 9.8m people in the UK over 65 (source: ONS), this group accounts for a fifth of the UK’s 46m registered voters (source: Ministry of Justice).
The die is far from cast however. One in five of over 65-year-olds admitted they had yet to pledge allegiance to a particular party, giving Labour and the Lib Dems a bank of floating voters, many who may have been swayed by Nick Clegg’s assured performance in the first national television debate between the leaders last week.
The Peverel Retirement report, named Thinking about the Future, also found the most important policy issue to those aged 65-plus was healthcare and the state of the NHS (69%). This was closely followed by pensioner welfare (including fuel benefits) at 67%. However, politicians’ ideas for getting the economy back on track will only have a major influence on 54% of pensioner votes.
Of the 1,000 retirees asked:
-34% – that’s 3.3 million people – intend to vote Conservative
-14% and 13% intend to vote Labour and the Liberal Democrats respectively
-However, one in five of the over 65s said that they have yet to pledge an allegiance to any political party
-Healthcare and the state of the NHS were rated as top priority issues (69%)
-Only 14% said that inheritance tax proposals would influence their vote
Opinion Matters interviewed 1,007 people aged over 65 between 7-14 April 2010 on behalf of Peverel Retirement.