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13 August 2015

Corbyn supporters are more likely to be older, middle class men

Jeremy Corbyn supporters are disproportionately likely to be fans of Jon Snow, Nina Simone and. . . lingerie?

By Stephanie Boland

As the result of the Labour leadership competition hurtles ever closer – and the polls hurtle ever-Corbynwards – there’s been a lot of debate over who, precisely, is responsible for the swing to the 66-year-old socialist.

As I’ve explained previously, the YouGov profiler isn’t the most accurate way of finding out who a politician’s supporters are. For a start, there’s no particular evidence its self-selecting sample size of 5875 Corbyn supporters represents a true picture of those who will vote for him. The results, however, can still be informative –or at least, dare I say it, fun.

So what happens when you put “People who like Jeremy Corbyn” into YouGov’s engine? The first result is surprising. Contrary to the popular conception that Corbyn is primarily appealing to the young, his most statistically significant YouGov demographic is men aged 55+. 

His supporters tend to be more likely to be part of social grade “ABC1” – that’s your upper and middle classes – and less likely to be part of grades C2, D or E: the working class.

They also have a very large negative Z-score when it comes to the 25-39 bracket, meaning working-age adults are less likely to be Corbyn supporters. They do, however, tend to be more likely to work in Government or the “Media and Publishing” sector compared to the general population.

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Bizarrely, their number one clothing brand is upmarket lingerie designer Agent Provocateur. (My theory? They’ve got a good eye for puns).

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A photoshop mash-up waiting to happen. Photo: Agent Provocateur/Ludovic Bertron

Personality-wise, Corbyn supporters are likely to describe themselves as “ethical, compassionate and analytical” but on occasion “miserable, needy and nerdy” (probably a fair state of affairs, if you’re a socialist today). They’re conscientious shoppers, but disproportionately likely to agree with the phrase “The world is controlled by a secretive elite”.

Their favourite films include Pride and Northern Soul – although they don’t tend to hail from the North – and their list of top ten celebrities is, er, all men, including Russell Brand, Jon Snow and Louis Theroux. (Their music choices are also all male, until you get to Nina Simone in slot ten).

At least one thing is predictable, though. Compared to the general population, supporters of Corbyn skew far to the left: