We recently surveyed 1,000 working people in Britain and discovered Labour is deemed the political party most likely to positively affect working lives. The Conservatives are second choice and the Liberal Democrats a far-off third.
Respondents were asked which party they believe would have the most positive impact on their working life: the majority (36%) chose Labour. 32% selected the Conservatives and the Lib Dems came in at 11%.
In terms of negative impact, the Conservatives are the clear first choice: 35% of respondents stated the Conservatives would be the party they’d fear would impact working lives for the worse. Labour are thought to offer significantly less damage at 23%, and the perceived negative impact of the election of the Liberal Democrats is minimal (5%).
Given the latest polls and the Conservatives’ (increasingly smaller) lead, our findings demonstrate there is perhaps a disparity between which party people are intending to vote for and the day-to-day impact they believe that party will have on their working life. We asked Daniel Zeichner, Labour's Parliamentary Candidate for Cambridge, why he thinks this might be the case.
Daniel Zeichner, Labour's Parliamentary Candidate for Cambridge, responds:
"Most workers instinctively recognise that Labour is far more likely to protect them at work, and that the Conservatives are far more likely to undermine those rights. The clue is partly in the name - Labour is the party of work, but also has the track record of securing improvements.
"My experience working for a national trade union is that while workers recognise this, they vote on a very wide range of issues, and are much closer in voting patterns to the wider population than is sometimes understood. Labour's challenge is to remind voters that workplace rights matter - and to prioritise them."
Changing workplace policy can affect votes
Over half of Britain’s working population (56%) believe a ‘moderate’ amount of importance should be placed on workplace-related policy by political parties, and 16% think it should be of ‘significant’ importance. Theresa May’s proposed expansion of workers’ rights and Labour’s pledge to raise the National Minimum Wage, for example, show both parties are aware of the significance working life holds to voters. Other issues are more likely to sway voters however: we found the top three were policies relating to the NHS, the cost of living, and Brexit.
In terms of desired reforms, our findings reveal that if a party were to offer a 4-day work week, it could sway the vote of nearly half (49%) of the working population. A similar number (46%) said a 6-hour work day could also alter their voting choice.