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How older people will vote in the 2015 general election: a review of existing polling evidence

Raphael Malek (Senior Research Executive, BritainThinks, London, UK)

Quality in Ageing and Older Adults

ISSN: 1471-7794

Article publication date: 9 March 2015




The issues of concern to older people and likely to shape their voting behaviour need to be understood and appreciated. The paper aims to discuss these issues.


This policy-oriented review draws on recent research, including surveys, focus groups and ethnographic interviews to identify such issues in the UK older population.


Older people are more likely to vote and to prioritise policy issues relating to immigration, the NHS and the economy–but the outcome of their vote is more likely to be determined by affinity with a party’s broader ideological position than with the specific policies contained in their manifesto?.

Practical implications

Older people appear more likely to support Conservative party values and priorities, but their potential growing support for UKIP may be underestimated as several major surveys do not prompt for this party. The less certain standing of both Conservative and Labour may therefore be further undermined by unappreciated shifts in the “grey vote”.


This commentary highlights the increasing importance of the “grey vote” at a time of increasing unpredictability in support for mainstream parties.



Malek, R. (2015), "How older people will vote in the 2015 general election: a review of existing polling evidence", Quality in Ageing and Older Adults, Vol. 16 No. 1, pp. 65-68.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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