Dividing lines

Using data from the British Social Attitudes survey, the National Centre for Social Research has developed a new classification of British voters.

Dividing Lines: A Classification of British Voters

The National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) has developed a more nuanced understanding of the major dividing lines in British politics ahead of the General Election 2024.  

British politics is often naively framed as a struggle between left and right. But there are problems with this picture. There are divided factions within the political left, and these divisions don’t boil down to some groups being further to the left than others. The same is true on the right. And some left wingers find they share more common ground with right wingers than is obvious at first glance.

NatCen’s new research moves beyond the classic markers of left and right and identifies six key voter types in Britain today. It highlights the issues that divide them, drawing on decades of voter attitudes research and insights by NatCen. Based on just twelve questions, we have generated a powerful grouping that also shows a range of other shared characteristics for each voter type such as social class, gender, levels of education, and geographical location as well as views on a broad range of political issues such as the economy, immigration and climate change.  

Graphic depicting different voter types

This research has informed the BBC's 'Undercover Voters' project, and is based on data from the British Social Attitudes (BSA) survey, the ‘gold-standard’ in tracking British public opinion.

> Find out more about the BBC’s Undercover Voters project