Women trouble for Tories ahead of World Cup final

Downing Street Policy & Politics

The Labour party has taken a 28 point lead over the Conservatives among women voters according to a YouGov poll of more than 5,000 people, which gives Sir Keir Starmer a 21 point lead among men.

Money worries is the driving factor for women, especially those aged under-50, according to analysis by thinktank Labour Together, as reported by the Observer on Saturday (August 19).

“[C]oncerns about household finances, the NHS and other public services underlie women under 50s’ shift to Labour”, said Rosie Campbell, co-author of the report, What Women Want and driecor of the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership.

Campbell warned Labour still has a lot of work to do to keep its “vast” lead over the Tories befoe the next election.

YouGov found that the Conservatives lead Labour only among the group of people with no financial concerns.

The report – based on academic analysis and extensive polling – is significant given more women than men have voted Conservative in nearly every general election between 1945 and 2015, the vast majority of which were won by the Tories.

Labour leads the Conservatives on all issues prioritized by women – on health by 42 points, social care by 41 points and education by 27 points. However, the report’s authors caution that nearly half of women voters – around 5 million voters – have yet to decide who they will vote for.

Elsewhere No 10 is under fire for its underwhelming support – in the form of bunting and flags – for the England women football team ahead of their World Cup against Spain.

Rishi Sunak’s support of the Lionesses has been compared to Boris Johnson’s backing of the men’s team before the 2019 European Championship final – and found wanting.

The Liberal Democrats are not the only ones to suggest it would be a “very different story” if it was the men’s world cup final.

“There’s certainly a stark contrast between Downing Street decorations then and now,” said chair of the Commons culture, media and sport committee Dame Caroline Dinenage. “I hope No 10 are going to raise their game before Sunday.”

Neither prime minister Sunak nor English FA president William Windsor, the Prince of Wales will be at the final in Sydney, Australia on Sunday (kick off 11am BST) – England’s first World Cup football final since 1966. The announcement that England would be represented by Lucy Frazer, the culture secretary downflated many.

Downing Street responded to the criticism by upping its display on Friday, with the Telegraph reporting “it was understood the decorations were still being added to well into the evening.” It was also announced that James Cleverly the foreign secretary will also be at the match on behalf of the government.

Before the extra flags were added, the Lib dems education spokesperson Munira Wilson said: “The Lionesses have inspired millions of people across the country during the World Cup. They deserve the full support from the nation in Sunday’s final, including from the Prime Minister.

“Instead, the Government’s approach has been a complete shambles. They can’t even decorate Downing Street properly.

“This is yet more evidence of their weak attempt to support the most successful England football team in a generation. You can’t help but suspect that if it was the England men’s team playing in the final, it would likely be a very different story.

“The country is ready to rally behind the Lionesses. Once again, the prime minister appears out of touch.”

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