Backbone Conservatives

UK Backbone Conservatives Hr

15% of the population


‘I’m proud of the fact I’m British. I would always hang my British flags out if I could.’
Michelle, 78, Yorkshire and the Humber

Backbone Conservatives are proud to be British and confident of their place in the world. They tend to be older and more prosperous than others, with many living in the South East.  They are nostalgic about Britain’s history, cultural heritage, and the monarchy, but looking to the future they are also the only group where a majority think that the country is going in the right direction. They are very interested in social and political issues, follow the news closely, and are stalwart supporters of the Conservative Party. Compared to most people, Backbone Conservatives are more negative on immigration, less concerned about racism, more supportive of public spending cuts and less convinced that there is a North/South divide. In addition to the BBC, their preferred sources of news are The Daily Mail, The Daily Telegraph, and The Daily Express.

Top priorities: Brexit and defence

Compared to other groups

  • Most optimistic group – the only one where a majority thinks that the country is going in the right direction (55 per cent v 29 per cent average)
  • Most likely to say that the pandemic has revealed our capacity to be a caring and compassionate country (66 per cent v 55 per cent average)
  • The only group where a majority think that there is no North/South divide, feeling instead that people in the regions are able to make their voices heard equally (55 per cent v 35 per cent average)
  • Most proud of being British than any other group (78 per cent v 59 per cent average) and more likely to say that their national identity is important to them (76 per cent v 62 per cent average)
  • Traditional and nostalgic – have a stronger sense of pride than any other group in the country’s history (32 per cent v 21 per cent average) and the monarchy (28 per cent v 14 per cent average)
  • Most likely to identify as English (80 per cent v 72 per cent average) and to be ethnically White British (93 per cent v 84 per cent)
  • Most likely to think that most immigrants do not make efforts to integrate into British society (56 per cent v 38 per cent average)
  • Least likely to consider racism a serious problem (62 per cent v 77 per cent average)
  • Most likely to believe that cuts to public spending were necessary (75 per cent v 50 per cent average)
  • Highest score for agreeing that when the Covid-19 crisis is over, we should immediately stop borrowing and focus on repaying the national debt (41 per cent v 29 per cent average)

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