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26 April 2015

Press release

Quarter of evangelical votes still up for grabs

Quarter of evangelical votes still up for grabs

New survey finds Conservatives take slight lead among evangelicals.

The Evangelical Alliance has found that almost all evangelicals intend to vote in the general election. Nearly nine out of 10 are certain to vote and less than one percent are unlikely or certain not to. And less than two weeks before polling day many of these votes are still up for grabs.

The Conservative Party has picked up three points among evangelicals since September 2014 to claim 31 per cent of these votes and take the lead. Meanwhile Labour has dropped to 29 per cent.

The Liberal Democrats have slightly recovered in the last seven months to reclaim third spot on 12 per cent, and the Green Party has increased their support to nine per cent. Support for UKIP has dropped from 12 to 10 per cent over the same period.

In 2010 the Evangelical Alliance found 40 per cent voted Conservative, 29 per cent Liberal Democrats, 22 per cent Labour, two per cent UKIP and one per cent Green.

With 23 per cent of evangelicals still undecided there are around half a million votes up for grabs in the final 10 days of campaigning. Half of these voters are considering voting for Labour, slightly fewer for the Liberal Democrats and 44 per cent for the Conservatives. Among the minor parties the Greens are an option for 26 per cent while only 16 per cent are thinking about voting for UKIP.

Among evangelicals planning to vote for UKIP in May's election, 65 per cent had previously backed the Conservatives. The Green Party has garnered support from across the political spectrum, attracting those who had previously supported the Liberal Democrats and Labour as well as –perhaps surprisingly –some former Conservatives.

Dr Dave Landrum, director of advocacy at the Evangelical Alliance, commented on the results: "With only days left before the country goes to the polls many evangelicals are still on the fence. Given that our research shows they intend to vote in great numbers, this poll signals an opportunity for the parties. Let's hope they take this opportunity by addressing the concerns of evangelicals in the final days of campaigning, including poverty and religious freedom."

The Faith in politics? report published by the Evangelical Alliance in February 2015 showed that evangelicals consider poverty and inequality to be the most important issue facing the country. It also found the issues most likely to affect their vote are policies protecting religious freedom, helping the poorest, eliminating human trafficking and opposing same-sex marriage and a pro-life stance on euthanasia.

Analysis of this latest survey, conducted in mid-April, shows that the Conservatives have lost nearly half of their evangelical supporters from 2010, while only three out of 10 who voted for the Liberal Democrats remain loyal. Labour have held on to the highest proportion of backers from the last general election, yet even here four out of 10 have decided to vote for another party or are still to decide.

Evangelical Christian voting intentions (percentages)

Party

April 2015

September 2014

2010 baseline survey

Conservatives

31

28

40

Labour

29

31

22

Liberal Democrats

12

11

29

UKIP

10

12

2

Green

9

6

1


Media Enquiries

Danny Webster
Tel: 07766 444 650
Email: d.webster@eauk.org

Notes to Editors

  1. The survey took place 16-21 April and was taken by 1,145 people, 932 of whom self-described as evangelical Christians. The results presented apply to evangelical respondents only.
  2. 89.3 per cent of evangelicals are certain to vote, 8.2 per cent likely, 1.5 per cent unsure, 0.6 per cent unlikely and 0.3 per cent certain not to.
  3. Voting intention applies to evangelical Christians taking this survey who had decided who to vote for, and excludes Northern Ireland parties.
  4. Those who had not decided who to vote for (23 per cent) were given the option of selecting parties they would consider voting for and were able to select as many as they wished.
  5. The Faith in politics? report is available at www.eauk.org/church/resources/snapshot/faith-in-politics.cfm

The Evangelical Alliance

We are the largest and oldest body representing the UK’s two million evangelical Christians. For more than 165 years, we have been bringing Christians together and helping them listen to, and be heard by, the government, media and society. We’re here to connect people for a shared mission, whether it’s celebrating the Bible, making a difference in our communities or lobbying the government for a better society. From Skye to Southampton, from Coleraine to Cardiff, we work across 79 denominations, 3,500 churches, 750 organisations and thousands of individual members. And we're not just uniting Christians within the UK – we are a founding member of the World Evangelical Alliance, a global network of more than 600 million evangelical Christians. For more information, go to www.eauk.org.