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What we know about the ‘Don’t Knows’

One of the striking aspects of the current general election campaign is the relative stability of the opinion polling. Labour has seen its c.20 percentage point lead over the Conservatives hold throughout the campaign. The only (by historical standards) slight change has been the increase in support for Reform UK and, to a lesser extent, the other smaller parties at the expense of the main two. For this reason, many assume a Labour win is a foregone conclusion.

As we enter the last few days of the campaign, the only thing casting any doubt on the result is the relatively high proportion of people who still do not know how they will vote. Roughly one in seven people are still to make their minds up about how they will vote. This is important because if they were to disproportionately favour one party over the others, it could still have quite an impact on the overall result.

We know quite a lot about the ‘Don’t Knows’. They are more likely to have voted for the Conservatives in 2019, they are much more likely to be female and more likely to have voted ‘Leave’ in the EU referendum. From our own FieldMouse Opinion Polls we also know that the ‘Don’t Knows’ are more likely to be rural voters rather than urban voters. In recent months, our polls have consistently shown that more rural than urban voters are yet to make up their minds. The results from our latest survey are shown below and reveal that 20% (or one in five) of rural voters are still undecided compared to 14% of those who live in towns and only 8% of those who live in cities.

A smart politician could only conclude that a last minute pitch for the rural vote is in order.

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