Behind Labour’s Lead in the Polls: Insights into Party Identification show party attracting unaffiliated voters

New political polling conducted by Survation between the 2nd-3rd of March 2023 reveals new nuance behind Labour’s lead in the polls.

The top line of our most recent polling, published today shows the Conservatives unchanged and while a slight decrease for Labour (-2) since polling conducted between 10-16th of February,  Labour maintain a strong, 16 point lead.




Analysis of data as it pertains to respondents' party identification -shows that Labour has attracted a large percentage of people who do not feel closer to any of the main political parties.


Intriguingly, when we asked respondents, "Which political party do you feel closest to?" and examined those who would vote for Labour in a hypothetical General Election, a striking pattern emerged that could shed light on potential tactical voting in the future. A significant 15.9% of those who identify most with the Liberal Democrats, along with comparable shares among Green (15%) and SNP voters (13%), indicated a preference for Labour in the next election. Notably, Labour also garnered the highest percentage of votes among unaffiliated voters, with a notable 45% expressing support for the party.



Strength of Party Identity

When asked how strongly they feel towards the party which they identify with, Liberal Democrat supporters rank at the bottom in terms of their strength of attachment with 11% indicating that they feel very strongly towards the Lib Dems, while Reform UK supporters came on top in terms of strength, with 28% choosing the highest option.

Interestingly, Conservative supporters ranked second lowest, with only 17% choosing the "10 - Very strong" option, while Labour supporters ranked second in terms of strength (26%), pointing towards a higher sense of volatility among those supporters, or perhaps a general sense of detachment from the Conservative party.



Delving further into this, the past vote breakdown shows that more than 1 in 10 2019 Conservative voters (13%) feel closer to the Labour party than they do to the party they chose in 2019, while only 1 in 100 Labour voters (1%) now feel closer to the Conservatives. It is again striking that the Liberal Democrats come last in terms of Lib Dem voters in 2019 who still identify with the party, with only 53% of 2019 voters selecting them as their closest party, compared to 60% of Conservative voters and 84% of Labour voters.

Another interesting finding is that 7% of 2019 Conservative voters now feel closer to Reform UK - a figure close to the percentage of 2016 Leave voters who now feel closest to Reform UK - 9%. In terms of Brexit vote, 1 in 4 2016 Leave voters identify with the Labour party, while 1 in 10 do not identify with any party, indicating towards a disillusionment of a not small share of Leave voters with the political options provided to them.



The polling data reveals a notable lack of faith in the government's capacity to handle refugees and asylum seekers, with 45% of respondents indicating "1" - No confidence at all or "2", a rating that is only surpassed by the economy (48%) and the NHS (46%) - three key policy areas that are part of Rishi Sunak's 5 pledges, aimed at securing victory in the upcoming General Election.



The lack of confidence in the government's ability to address refugees and asylum seekers may be influenced by people's perception of the Prime Minister as a leader. When asked about which party leader best exemplifies a range of characteristics, Rishi Sunak outranks Keir Starmer only on intelligence (35%). Additionally, a significant portion (46%) of respondents feel that the Prime Minister is disconnected from ordinary people.



Get the data

Survation conducted an online poll of 1,074 adults aged 18+ in the UK. Fieldwork was conducted between 2nd and 3rd March 2023. Tables are available here.


Survation. is an MRS company partner, a member of the British Polling Council and abides by their rules. To find out more about Survation’s services, and how you can conduct a telephone or online poll for your research needs, please visit our services page.

If you are interested in commissioning research or to learn more about Survation’s research capabilities, please contact John Gibb on 020 3818 9661, email, or visit our services page.

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