We’re in the grip of election fever at the moment, and with the 12th December election looming it’s not surprising that politics has become a hot topic of conversation throughout the country.
So, our team decided to put our vast expanse of data to the test, to find out what our unique insights might be able to tell us about the way we vote. The analysis proved incredibly revealing, providing plenty of intriguing information about property characteristics in UK constituencies.
When we look at the characteristics of properties in different constituencies, there are many similarities. Some of these similarities go without saying. For instance, you won’t be shocked to hear that Conservative constituencies are often found in the South, whereas Labour constituencies are more common in the North.
Indeed, the news that conservative constituencies are generally home to more affluent groups of people than their labour counterparts will also come as no surprise. But what about the characteristics of individual properties in different constituencies? What does a house tell us about the political views of the area?
Let’s take a look at the data from different constituencies to see what the homes of Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat and Nationalist party voters have in common.
When we look at property characteristics in Conservative-voting constituencies, some similarities immediately jump out.
In these areas, property prices tend to be higher than £200,000, and properties are generally occupied by their owners. Properties in Conservative areas are often detached or semi-detached, with at least four bedrooms. These homes usually have more than one bathroom and several reception rooms, as well as a dining room and garage.
There are many notable property characteristics that you might find in these homes, from wood-burning stoves and thatched roofs to indoor and outdoor pools. Properties often have hot tubs, gated driveways, immersion heaters, air conditioning and converted garages.
In terms of location, properties are usually rural but still accessible. Homeowners in these areas are likely to have invested in eco-friendly features, such as solar panels and solar water heating. And of course, properties in conservative areas also usually come complete with conservatories!
The demographics of homeowners in Conservative areas are older, with a household income of over £40,000 per annum. These areas also tend not to contain a huge amount of shared ownership or student properties.
In constituencies where the vote tends to swing in Labour’s favour, there are specific property characteristics which are over-represented.
Labour-voting constituencies are home to high numbers of properties valued below £150,000, the majority of which are social housing and private rented properties. Housing in labour constituencies is largely leasehold, with more flats and terraced housing than in conservative-voting areas.
Constituencies voting labour tend to be urban, with most voters living in one or two bedroom properties. Investment in eco-friendly property upgrades is less common in these constituencies.
Demographics are younger here, and household incomes generally fall below the £30,000 mark. In these areas voters are subjected to higher levels of financial stress, and it’s more common for voters to reside in shared homes, student lets or homes of multiple occupancy.
Constituencies that vote for nationalist parties such as Plaid Cymru, the Scottish National Party or the Social Democratic and Labour Party were also examined, and the data revealed a set of property characteristics which are more commonly found in these areas.
In nationalist constituencies, we noted an over-representation of social housing and privately rented properties. Property values tend to fall below £100,000, with the majority of voters living in flats with shared communal gardens. Unsurprisingly, these voters have incomes on the lower end of the scale. Many voters in these constituencies are also single.
In terms of notable characteristics, we found that properties in nationalist constituencies often have no mains gas and rely on alternative heating such as LPG, oil, electricity and coal.
Nationalist constituencies include far more sparse, remote settlements, where voters are more likely to live in listed buildings. Other property types over-represented in these areas are new builds. Many new builds built within the last decade are located in nationalist constituencies. It’s also worth noting that nationalist constituencies include more properties with features designed specifically for elderly or disabled people, such as stairlifts.
Liberal Democrat Constituencies
It might surprise you to hear that the constituencies topping the list in terms of income are now Liberal Democrat, rather than Conservative. In Liberal Democrat constituencies, there are greater numbers of households with incomes over £60,000.
In terms of the housing specifically, Liberal Democrat constituencies are over-represented in owner-occupied housing valued at £300,000 or more. Such housing is often eco-friendly, and tends to be detached. Where flats are concerned, these are more commonly high-value flats in exclusive locations.
Like nationalist constituencies, Liberal Democrat areas include large numbers of remote, sparse settlements. However, constituencies voting Liberal Democrat tend to also include plenty of large detached housing. Voters commonly have significant mortgages in these areas too.
Specific property characteristics that we noted appearing more often in Liberal Democrat areas include solar water heating, traditional sash windows, wind energy facilities, listed buildings, communal gardens and shared entrances.
Many of the noted property characteristics of different constituencies will come as no surprise, yet the data has revealed some interesting insights into the ways in which we live - and how that might impact our vote in the upcoming election. And this is just a glimpse into the property insights that our team have at their disposal.
To learn more about property insights, and discover how you could use this information to guide your own strategies and decisions, make sure you get in touch. With the help of our team of talented data scientists, you’ll find out how to leverage data and technology to target consumers, stimulate demand and get results.