Posted 02 Oct 2018
Private renters now key to political battleground, Shelter research shows
Key statistics on private renting and political polling data for England:
- The political salience of renters is growing amid a huge surge in numbers - 4.7 million households now rent privately in England – a 74% rise in the last ten years. The number of renting families with children has soared by 86% in the last decade.
- Exclusive research carried out by Number Cruncher Politics, for Shelter, reveals private renters in key marginal seats say they are less likely to vote Conservative in the next general election – in fact the Conservatives are a massive 22 points behind Labour.
- Between 2011 and 2017 private rents in England rose 60% faster than average wages – adding to the potential of a ‘rentquake’ at the next general election.
- Thirty-nine percent of voters in marginal seats want the government to prioritise building more social homes, compared with only 31% who backed homeownership schemes like Help to Buy and shared ownership.
- Marginal voters are gloomier about the housing crisis than any other issue, with 67% believing the state of housing has got worse in the last five years. Crime levels came in second (66%), followed by healthcare (54%), immigration (48%) and education (37%).
Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: “Given the surge in private renters and constant reminders of our worsening housing crisis, it’s hardly surprising that so many voters are angry and fed up with the state of housing in this country.
“For too long politicians have spent precious tax-payers money on failed homeownership schemes like Help to Buy - that will only ever help a minority - while doing next to nothing for a growing group of hard-pressed private renters.
“Instead of just side-lining millions of private renters, we are calling on the government to hold its nerve and make three-year tenancies the law, and finally commit to building the ambitious volume of social homes we actually need.”
Notes to the editor:
- Of the estimated 23.1 million households in England in 2016-17, the private rented sector accounted for 4.7 million or 20% of households. 14.4 million or 63% were owner occupiers. Source: English Housing Survey headline report (2016-17)
- The number of households that are private renting has risen by 74% in the last ten years (2007 – 2016/17). Source: English Housing Survey headline report (2016-17)
- Polling methodology- Number Cruncher polled 1,247 adults (18+) living in the 60 English marginal constituencies with a Labour or Conservative majority of less than five per cent. The survey was conducted online between 1st – 19th September 2018. Responses are weighted by age, gender, education, tenure and seat type to the profile of all adults living in the 60 constituencies. Voting intention is additionally weighted by likelihood to vote.
- Voting Intention – This poll shows that 42% of voters in these seats would vote for Labour, 40% Conservative and 10% Liberal Democrat and this reflects a swing of 6% away from the Conservative party (46% in 2017) and 2% away from the Labour party (44% in 2017) since the 2017 election in these seats and is similar to the swing seen in national polling conducted by Number Cruncher.
- To compare wages a two-person household of one full-time worker and one part-time worker has been modelled, taking data from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE). These are wages for those living in the area, rather than working there. Rental rise data is taken from the Index of Private Rental Prices.