How ‘Red Votes, Blue Values’ of fed-up Tories are set to win it for Starmer

If Labour wins most votes on 4 July, nearly half of its winning margin will come from people who agree with the Tories but are backing Sir Keir Starmer because they have “given up” on Rishi Sunak.

That is the finding of a “Red Votes, Blue Values” survey which appears to reveal a new election trend.

According to the JL Partners survey for The Independent, 40 per cent of Labour’s current substantial lead in the polls is from people with small “c” conservative views.

The poll shows a huge chunk of the electorate is instinctively in tune with traditional Tory thinking on a wide range of key policies and topics from immigration, law and order, public spending and tax to being pro-business, “anti-woke” and patriotic.

But in spite of this, they are switching to Labour because they have “lost faith” in Mr Sunak.

The dramatic findings reflect a mirror image of the so-called red-wall effect in the last election.

On that occasion, the Tories were swept to power aided by voters in working-class seats in the North who abandoned Jeremy Corbyn’s left-wing Labour Party.

This time it appears the opposite is happening: traditional Conservative supporters are abandoning the party of Sunak, Johnson and Truss in favour of Starmer, who has ditched Labour’s left-wing baggage.

Callum Hunter, of JL Partners, says: “Keir Starmer’s road to Downing Street hinges on ‘Blue Labour’ voters.

“The public are closer to the Conservatives in attitudes towards policy than Labour, but they are backing Starmer anyway – Labour is ahead by converting voters of what is still a fundamentally conservative Britain. The Tories face an electorate that ‘agrees with them but has given up on them’.”

According to the poll, the average Briton tends to lean to the right socially and economically.

Mr Hunter said: “It puts them closer to what they perceive as the Conservative Party on 11 of 19 key issues, from Rwanda to the economy to crime.

“Whilst the general voter is closer to the Conservatives on the policies themselves, they have lost faith in Rishi Sunak’s leadership and the Tories’ ability to handle these issues.

“Forty per cent of Labour’s lead comes from voters who take a more economically and socially conservative view. They tend to think that political correctness has gone too far, are supportive of the Rwanda plan, want a tougher stance on crime and are proud of the UK.

“The electorate is still quite conservative, with a small ‘c’, but they have abandoned the Conservative Party in their droves.”

However, Mr Hunter said there could be a sting in the tail for Starmer from his army of small “c” conservative recruits if the Tory Party revives after the election.

“Going into this election, and beyond, he needs to worry more about these voters than any other group.

“A post-election Conservative Party resurgence could see this group fall away. Right now, Starmer leads on leadership attributes, and the salient issues like the NHS are ones that Labour own, but there are fundamental policy disagreements between Labour and the electorate. It will be tough to reconcile these two positions if they get into government.”

JL Partners interviewed 2,001 adults online from 2-4 May