During a London Councils summit in November 2014, some results from a summer 2014 poll of London councillors were discussed. When asked which issues were the most important for their parties to focus on before the general election in 2015, two thirds (67%) stated that housing was of critical importance. This figure is twenty percentage points higher than the number of councillors citing the second most popular issue (employment – 47%). However, of all issues covered within the poll, housing provokes one of the largest differences between the parties: while half (51%) of Conservative councillors cite it as a key issue, this figure rises to more than four in five Labour councillors (82%).
The poll also revealed that several other issues cause strong divides along party lines: for example, Labour councillors are twenty-five percentage points more likely to believe that health will be a key issue in their borough in the run-up to the election (60% compared to 35%), and Conservative councillors are significantly more likely to believe that immigration and the local economy are important issues. Conservative councillors are 35 percentage points more likely than Labour councillors to consider the former to be an important issue, and sixteen percentage points more likely to feel this way with regard to the latter.
The presentation in which the above graph can be found is available to download from www.londoncouncils.gov.uk/events/event.htm?pk=1166.
Photo credit: Housing by Ben Salter.