On 18th April, the UK’s Prime Minister, Theresa May called for an early General Election scheduled for 8th June 2017. The unexpected 'snap' election sent waves of disruption through Westminster, the media and the general public. To gauge the full impact of Mrs May's decision, we asked Voxpopme's on demand video research community to share their opinion on the biggest political news this year.
As expected, there were passionate and widely differing opinions about the political rationale at play. For the majority of respondents, questions centred around the snap election's affect on Brexit and the United Kingdom's ability to negotiate efficaciously with the European Union.
"I think she's [Theresa May] actually being really clever here. She knows that Labour aren't in any real position to challenge her and UKIP also have their own mass of problems... I think we're all pretty certain that May is the best person to get us the best possible deal from Brexit." (Male, 31)
Respondents, although surprised by the election announcement, felt the news to be a strategic manoeuvre striving to consolidate concrete Conservative support. As the UK currently faces the unknown, many credited Theresa May for calling the election to improve her power and position within Westminster in a move to push through the best Brexit deal for Britain. Although, many other respondents felt that the Conservatives were exploiting weaknesses within the Labour party for their own political gain.
"Theresa May has called for this election tactically. The reason why is because she knows that she's in a strong position to win right now." (Female, 19)
"It's very politically astute of Mrs May to hold an election... I think it will improve her hand when it comes to the European Brexit negotiations. Clearly, The Labour party will be decimated. Maybe not as much as people think, but they'll lose half their seats." (Male, 66)
"It proves this whole, entire, Brexit farce has been about positioning the Tories into a place where they have total power, and they're answerable to nobody." (Female, 47)
The polls featured in The Insight Economy, Raconteur's report published in The Times last week had the Conservatives in a truly dominant lead.
Graphic first published in Raconteur's 'The Insight Economy', May 2017
However, the purpose of video research is to find the stories behind the stats and see the reasons for individual's opinions and voting intentions.
As key events played out, Voxpopme asked a small sample of voters to regularly share their thoughts to provide ongoing insight into how the news, social media and opinion polls have swayed their vote.
From extra bank holidays to TV debates and leaked manifestos, there was a clear divide between voters who would be sticking with the same party they have always supported and those on the fence.
The segment of the electorate on the fence provide an interesting outlook into the current political cohesion in the UK. For those undecided, it was clear that the party manifestos have been immensely influential, leading many voters to switch their allegiance from one party to another.
With seven days left until the vote and continually fluctuating opinions, there’s plenty of time for the polls to change. We’ll be asking our UK panel on 7th June how they plan to vote for one final time in 2017 (hopefully).
Want to ask our panel more election based questions? Get in touch with us via our contact page to launch your on-demand video campaign.