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Pensioners poll shows impact on election

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Silver grey vote could swing result for parties

Peverel Retirement, the UK’s eading manager of privately owned residential retirement property have recently conducted a representative poll of over 1000 over sixty-fives, a group which now makes up 20% of the UK population. Whilst their is a reasonable “buzz” on the internet with much more priority being given by the parties to bloggers, Facebook, Twitter and other social networks as the internet becomes a campaign tool, it must not be forgotten that some the core support for political parties will come from the elderly.

The headline results of the recent poll show that:

  • 34% of pensioners intend to vote Conservative
  • 14% intend to vote Labour
  • 13% intend to vote Liberal-Democrat
  • 20% are still undecided
  • 69% are concerned with healthcare and the NHS
  • 14% think that Inheritance Tax issues will influence their vote

Not surprisingly the politicians must talk about the future and how their policies might affect how Britain operates and runs for the next five years, but with a sizeable chunk of the population retired they cannot ignore the influence of those who have worked for perhaps over 40 years, diligently paying their taxes contributing to the economy and society, and who now wish to enjoy some rewards in their twilight years, after all it was their cash which government wasted to get us where we are today!

The report from the Peverel Pensioners Poll says this:

New research out today from Peverel Retirement shows retirees are likely to be the difference between success and failure for the Tories when the UK goes to the polls on 6 May.

A survey conducted by Opinion Matters on behalf of the UK’s leading property retirement company has found 34% of over 65-year-olds, approximately 3.3 million of the population, say they intend to vote for the Conservatives. This figure significantly exceeds support levels for the two main other parties, with only 14% and 13% of the same age group backing Labour and the Liberal Democrats respectively.

With 9.8m people in the UK over 65 (source: ONS), this group accounts for a fifth of the UK’s 46m registered voters (source: Ministry of Justice).

The die is far from cast however. One in five of over 65-year-olds admitted they had yet to pledge allegiance to a particular party, giving Labour and the Lib Dems a bank of floating voters, many who may have been swayed by Nick Clegg’s assured performance in the first national television debate between the leaders last week.

The Peverel Retirement report, named Thinking about the Future, also found the most important policy issue to those aged 65-plus was healthcare and the state of the NHS (69%). This was closely followed by pensioner welfare (including fuel benefits) at 67%. However, politicians’ ideas for getting the economy back on track will only have a major influence on 54% of pensioner votes.

Retirement property specialist Peverel Retirement, which manages over 1,500 privately-owned independent and ‘Assisted Living’ developments in England and Wales, commissioned researcher Opinion Matters to highlight pensioner power in the forthcoming election.

Peverel Retirement Managing Director Keith Edgar urged the main parties not to neglect the needs of retired voters in their scramble to appeal to younger voters with TV debates and Twitter campaigns.

“Despite the efforts made by David Cameron to attract younger voters, this research shows Conservative policies still resonate strongly with the older generation,” said Edgar. “But what is really interesting is the number of undecided voters. Getting this group on side could put either one of the other main parties on almost exactly level pegging with the Tories.”

A quarter (26%) said free travel was a key concern and nearly half, 45%, wanted to see more done to tackle crime. Just under a third (30%) cited the education of future generations as a policy issue close to their hearts.

Surprisingly, only 14% of those aged over 65 will let inheritance tax influence their vote.

“With 27 years’ experience in this sector, we understand how important issues such as healthcare are to retirees. This research shows very clearly what this group of influential voters wants from the next government. We’ve done the legwork and shown politicians what they need to offer. The challenge for all three parties over the next fortnight will be to convince retirees they have listened to their demands.”

Even more reason not to put lies and scare stories on your leaflets!

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Written by curly

April 23, 2010 at 12:55 pm

3 Responses

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  1. My personal and local polling shows the complete opposite. Inheritance tax is not a big issue locally – surprise,surprise. Most local pensioners appreciate, Winter Fuel Payment, Pension Credit, Cold Weather Payments, Free TV licence for over 75S, Free Bus pass to name but a few benefits brought to us by the present Government. They are also deeply worried that a number of these benefits would disappear or be means tested if a Conservative Government were elected because their retention has not been guaranteed. Sometimes what politicians don’t say is the most worrying.


    April 23, 2010 at 2:13 pm

  2. The Peverel Retirement report, named Thinking about the Future, also found the most important policy issue to those aged 65-plus was healthcare and the state of the NHS (69%). This was closely followed by pensioner welfare (including fuel benefits) at 67%.

    To some extent your personal polling does reflect the above, however the other concerns expressed to you can only be as a result of the lies and scaremongering on Labour’s leaflets, and let’s face the truth, talking about what isn’t in the manifesto is an absolute nonsense! Why not talk about the introduction of involuntary euthanasia, or the compulsory sale of social homes to private landlords, the taking away of the first born child, after all none of these are in the manifesto either.

    Gordon Brown carried on in the same vein last night when he said of Cameron:

    “He would have to go along and say he wanted to relate the social chapter. That’s what gives us paid holidays”

    Is Brown really saying there was no paid holiday before the EU? Or that the Conservatives would abolish it?

    Why can’t you face up to the fact that there is no threat to these areas and that Brown, Whelan and Unite are just orchestrating a campaign based on creating unfounded fear, these really are desperate words from a government that has truly ran out of road!


    April 23, 2010 at 4:29 pm

  3. The concerns were not a result of lies or scaremongering more like a deep distrust of Conservative policies. Pensioners – myself included- fear that there will be more means testing. Other things are guaranteed or ring fenced so it would have been easy to reassure pensioners on the issue of proecting various benefits.
    As for the paid holiday a family member got 20 days paid holiday. Four weeks a year not too bad. However his boss was advised by his accountants that bank holidays could be included in that total. Thankfully Labour put an end to that bit of penny pinching.


    April 23, 2010 at 6:59 pm

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