Posts Tagged ‘real middle’

The real middle – and what it really wants

18/01/2011, 02:00:56 PM

by John Spellar

Target voters have been described as Worcester Woman, Mondeo Man and now the “squeezed middle” or “alarm clock Britain”.  However, far too much of the discussion has focused on describing the groups rather than trying to assess what this very substantial and important group of voters think, feel or are looking for from politics. In particular, too many commentators seem to believe that they are looking for constant innovation, change and excitement. They would do better to heed Mark Twain, who is reported as saying “I’m all for progress; its change I don’t like”.

With his usual acute observation he encapsulated the attitude of a huge block of voters and particularly those swing voters among the C1 and C2s. They are crucial for elections, not only in the UK, but across the English speaking world. Indeed, I suspect, in much of the rest of the world, particularly the Nordic countries.

In Britain, they have been the backbone of Labour victories, but also the key to victories for Conservative leaders who can tap into their psyche and articulate their concerns.  Elsewhere, Ronald Reagan was probably the most adept at this. While the Australian leader, John Howard, and Margaret Thatcher built their success on this group in their earlier years, both were probably too much radical revolutionaries pushing instability, John Howard with “work choices” and Thatcher with the poll tax. (more…)

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