At the 2019 general election the Tories led Labour by 35% amongst voters who owned their homes and led Labour by 10% with mortgage holders, whilst this polling from Redfield & Wilton doesn’t split the between homeowners and mortgage holders it is pretty alarming for the Tories.
Although it has recovered from the low point and rapid shift of the Liz Truss premiership cheering the fact the Tories are only trailing Labour by 1% with this demographic is as idiotic as cheering a Tory lead of 1% over Labour in the Blue Wall, this polling replicated at a general election would presage a very poor night for the Tories.
Historians will tell you that the Tory party, and their female leaders in particular, suffer badly when they mess around with people’s houses and mortgages. Mrs Thatcher found that out with the Community Charge, John Major never really recovered from Black Wednesday, Theresa May was on course for a majority of 290 at the 2017 general election until she announced her dementia tax and lost David Cameron’s majority, and finally Liz Truss, whose special fiscal operation buggered up the lives of mortgage holders. For the Tories, the legacy of the Liz Truss premiership has aged like a pint of milk in the sun.
With the Tories currently the NIMBY party they are creating entire generations who will only rent, as this Redfield & Wilton poll also finds that ‘among those who live in rented accommodation, Labour holds a lead of over thirty points, having led among this demographic in every poll that we have conducted that included this demographic question (since January 2021).’ At the 2019 general election Labour led the Tories by 15% amongst voters who rented.
If the Tories want to start winning future general elections they need to embrace their inner Thatcher and turn the UK into a home owning democracy again. A former Tory strategist told me becoming homeowners begets Tory voters, and he’s right. If this housing crisis continues then the Tories could find themselves out of power for a generation.