How much does joining a political party say something about who you are, culturally? YouGov’s Profiles might provide some clues: collating data from users across the country, it looks for trends in what people enjoy as compared to their other interests.
There are some limitations to the model, of course. The sample sizes, for instance, are still small – only 6,103 Labour party supporters and 8,918 Ukip fans have filled in the survey, with the other political parties on even less.
It also judges people against their sample set. So when YouGov tells us that – surprise, surprise – people who support Labour are far more likely to identify as fans of recent film Pride, it doesn’t necessarily mean all Labour fans will, just that they’re more likely to than their peers.
The main problem, though, is how close to home it hits. Those who support Labour, for instance, are likely to describe themselves as “compassionate” but occasionally “depressed”. Ukip supporters are on occasion “intolerant”. Somewhat surprisingly, they’re far more likely than their peer group to shop at German giant Aldi (might be the good beer).
Conservatives describe themselves as leaders, but also sometimes intolerant and “demanding”.
SNP supporters like Runrig and haggis.
Green party members are that guy at university: young men who are big fans of vegetarian thali — a weirdly specific choice which is likely the result of YouGov’s engine — they’re also likely to be into Twin Peaks and Russell Brand, and list QI and Doctor Who among their top shows.
To end membership week, we’ve created playlists for the three main parties — Labour, the Tories and the Lib Dems — based on their YouGov profiles and moments from party history.
Tory entertainment choices are stereotypical dad. They like Jeremy Clarkson, but also list quieter James May among their favourite celebrities. Their favourite recording artist, which the Statesman offices sadly guessed correctly, is Cliff Richard. They alone seem to genuinely enjoy watching PMQs, but their favourite TV show is Downton Abbey. Yes, really.
Labour party members’ favourite TV series is Only Connect. They are avid consumers of both BBC Four and BBC Radio 4, and presumably nightmares at dinner parties.
Their music choices, though, are upbeat, with a preferance Pulp, The Jam and Billy Bragg – plus, of course, the once-cheerful D:Ream anthem Things Can Only Get Better…
Liberal Democrats tend to be young men from London, who shop at Waitrose, enjoy University Challenge and listen to Mick Jagger and Pentangle. They describe themselves as analytical but occasionally disorganised and self-absorbed. They also have very few respondents on YouGov compared to Labour and the Conservatives – although, at 837, still over a 100 fans per MP.
The YouGov profiler is online at yougov.co.uk/profiler