Thursday 5th May – the first electoral test for Cameron and Corbyn following 363 days of the first Conservative majority government since the ‘90s.
While the elections taking place are local in nature, recent polling of our members has thrown up some interesting results when compared with one carried out prior to the general election last year.
Prior to last year’s election, 57% of respondents to our quarterly members’ survey were intending to vote Conservative at the ballot box. Having endured almost a year to the day of a majority Conservative government, many landlords are now having a change of heart. The Chancellor’s numerous and sustained raids on landlords’ livelihoods seem to be taking their toll.
In our most recent survey, half of landlords’ voting intentions have changed since the general election as a result of the Government’s and opposition parties’ approach to the PRS. While Cameron may not lose much sleep over the lost support from landlords, it is interesting to see where that support has gone instead.
Of those landlords that have changed their mind, almost half of them simply no longer know for whom to vote. This doesn’t come as much as a surprise to us – we know first-hand that no political party is especially sympathetic to landlords.
The London Mayoral election has highlighted how each party views the PRS and its role in delivering homes to millions of people. Landlords don’t come away particularly well from any of the mayoral candidates’ proposals. You can read our breakdowns of the various manifestos here.
London landlord voting intention still favours the Conservatives at 33%, but this is just marginally higher than the 32% who are still unsure about which candidate will get their vote tomorrow. Prior to last year’s election, 63% of London landlords were intending to vote Conservative. A drastic fall in support in just under a year!
Scotland & Wales
For landlords, the situations in Scotland & Wales are looking even worse. Asked for their view on the impact of their respective Government’s PRS policies on business, respondents were clear in their answers: 61% of Scottish landlords are impacted negatively, with 55% of Welsh landlords impacted negatively.
The Conservatives again topped both polls, but only just. Scottish Tories were on 21%, slightly above the SNP’s 18%. In Wales, the “unsures” were only 2 percentage points below the Conservatives’ dismal 17%.
It’s hard to reach much of a definitive conclusion from these polls, but the results are interesting nonetheless.
There is no natural party of support for landlords (which shouldn’t come as a surprise), but after one year of majority Government the Conservatives have been able to drive away more landlords than 5 years of Coalition Government ever did.
With 4 years left until the next general election, it remains to be seen if Cameron & Co. will begin to work with the landlord community to win back support, or continue with attacks against us.