September 26, 2019
Boris Johnson could woo key Leave voters from Jeremy Corbyn if he makes council housing as much of a priority as home ownership, a new poll suggests.
Johnson Could Woo Labour Leave Voters With New Pledge To Build More Council Homes, Poll Suggests
The YouGov survey, commissioned by charity Shelter and shared with HuffPost UK, found that increasing the supply of social homes for rent was the top housing demand among Labour supporters who opted to quit the EU in the 2016 referendum.
Some 49% of ‘Labour Leavers’ said the government should prioritise building more council and housing association flats and houses, compared to just 19% who felt the priority should be more home ownership through schemes like ‘Help to Buy’. These voters felt that tackling homelessness (29%) was more important than home ownership.
Among Tory Leave voters, the gap was narrower, with 36% thinking rental homes were more of a priority and 32% saying home ownership was their preferred top policy choice.
Among all voters, ‘increasing the number of social homes’ was in the top five policy priorities of different groups, alongside the NHS and policing.
Analysis of the polling by Shelter found that while the Conservatives have prioritised homeownership for a long time, there are political gains in social housing to be capitalised on.
Some 37% of people who voted in the 2017 general election – an estimated 11.8 million people – think the government should prioritise building social homes.
This compares to just 29% who want the government to prioritise homeownership schemes like ‘Help to Buy’ and shared ownership.
Undecided voters who haven’t chosen a party yet are also highly motivated by housing, with two thirds thinking that housing has got worse over the last five years.
Some 67% believe the cost and availability of housing has got worse in the last five years compared to the quality of healthcare (53%) and schools (41%), and levels of immigration (38%).
Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: “Brexit may be centre stage, but politicians who ignore the housing emergency will find few friends at the ballot box. With millions denied the chance of a stable home they can afford, voters are very aware this crisis is getting worse.
“Any politician who is serious about housing must listen to what people actually want - and prioritise a new generation of social homes, over small-scale homeownership schemes that only help a lucky few.
“The country desperately needs unifying and we can bring people together with a new national plan to build three million social homes in the next 20 years, to give everyone the home they deserve.”Related... How Money And Messaging Could Win Johnson His ‘No Surrender’ Election Dominic Cummings Says Brexit Battle Is A 'Walk In The Park' Compared To Referendum John Major Describes The 'Political Chicanery' He Worries PM Will Use To Get No-Deal Brexit
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