How Sheffield would vote if people focused on policies, not personalities
Voters in Sheffield would put Labour and Green Party policies at the top of their wishlist if those heading to the polls based their vote on ‘policies, not personalities’.
It has been revealed in a survey by Vote for Policies, an not for profit organisation that encourages turnout in elections.
Matt Chocqueel-Mangan, founder of Vote for Policies, said: "I set it up after stumbling upon some manifestos online. I didn’t know they existed, but it was only after reading them I discovered that the party I agreed most with, was a party I had never considered voting for. I found this worrying, and at the same time finally felt quite engaged and interested in voting - something I can’t say I was before. I wondered if other people might feel the same, but didn’t want them to have to trawl through the manifestos. So I created Vote for Policies to make it easier to get the same experience.
"It’s really difficult to get clear, non-partisan information about who to vote for. But it’s there in the manifestos. People find it really helpful, and insightful. Feeling informed is so important as a motivation to get out and vote.”
So far 6,676 Sheffield residents have taken part and the results were revealing.
Labour and Green parties came out top - with Labour taking an average of 31.7 per cent of votes and Greens 30 per cent across constituencies.
Both Sheffield Central and Sheffield Hallam voters liked the Green Party’s policies the best, even though there has never been an MP of that party in the north of England.
The other three constituencies put Labour pledges at the top, while the Conservatives came in fourth position across all areas except Sheffield South East where they were second best. The Brexit Party's promises came last in all areas of the city.
Pundits are predicting Conservatives to come out top nationally in the upcoming general election, and take Penistone and Stocksbridge, but the survey showed only 20 percent of people would vote for Conservative policies across Sheffield. And the majority, 25 per cent, would vote Labour in Penistone and Stocksbridge.
How much do voters trust politicians?
Matt said: "Trust is an issue. People ask me: ‘why vote for policies when politicians don’t deliver on their promises?’
“I completely understand. All I can say, is basing our vote on what their promises are is the first step to holding them to account.
“Manifestos are the only contract we have with our governments, and we’re not really using them. We have to take politicians at their word, and they have to know they’re going to be accountable."
How much influence do manifestos have on voters?
Marcus Roberts, a director at YouGov, said ahead of the last general election that most people are motivated by multiple important factors, such as politicians' leadership abilities and core values.
In an opinion piece, he said: "In every election, some political figure will either say that their party will start to gain popularity when the public sees its manifesto, or that people should vote based on 'policies, not personalities'. But however popular a policy, it won’t bring victory to a party destined to defeat or sink a party cruising to victory...
"In successful election campaigns policy only comes into play once a party and leader have passed three key hygiene tests: 1. Connecting on core values; 2. Positioning on the big issues of the day; and 3. Leadership....
"This is not to say that policies don't matter or that they don't affect voters – they do. However winning election campaigns join up core values, big issues and leadership, using policies as an illustration of these forces, rather than a replacement for serious weakness in these areas."
To take the survey, click here.
Polling stations will be open from 7am to 10pm tomorrow (Thursday, December 12).
Check your polling card to see where your station is.
Results will be counted during tomorrow night and announced in the early hours of Friday morning.