A recent in-depth analysis of voting data, entitled ‘Voting and Values in Britain: Does religion count?’, has highlighted the relationship between religion and politics in Britain.
Carried out by think-tank, Theos, the research found that Anglicans are more likely to vote Conservative and Catholics more likely to vote Labour. Votes from Christians, who are part of ‘nonconformist’ churches or defined as ‘other Christian’, are likely to be evenly split between the three main parties.
The phenomenon of ‘values voting’, as seen in the United States, shows no sign of taking hold here in the UK. One interesting fact that came out of the research is that religious people care about the same things as everyone else: In 2010, all groups – irrespective of religiosity – rated the economy, immigration, the budget deficit and unemployment as their most important issues.
Another interesting fact gleaned from the data was that people, who attend a religious service regularly, irrespective of religion, are most consistently pro-welfare. Non-believers and nominal believers tend to be more hostile to welfare, and are more individualist.
People of no religion are most consistently libertarian, taking a strong line against censorship, although they, like others, have become more authoritarian over the last ten years. They are also more sceptical towards management, and more convinced that “ordinary, working people do not get their fair share of the nation’s wealth”.