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35% of women say Cameron a ‘chauvinist’


8:50 am - October 12th 2011

by Sunny Hundal    


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A YouGov poll for the Sunday Times found that 35% of women regarded David Cameron as the greatest male chauvinist of the three party leaders.

Only 5% applied that label to Ed Miliband and 2% to Nick Clegg.

More surprisingly, for a party that touts itself as the “family friendly party”, only 18% thought that applied to the Conservatives while 25% felt it applied to Labour. Libdems only got 8% support, while 49% said neither or didn’t know.

Yougov also asked women about their thoughts on the economy and cuts.

Two in three women thought both sexes have been equally hit by the recession and public spending cuts; while a third thought women have been hit harder.

But there is a gender gap in response to cuts.

YouGov asked “Thinking about the way the Government is cutting spending to reduce the Government’s deficit, do you think this is being done fairly or unfairly”.
Men replied: fairly, 35%, unfairly 55%; women said: fairly 24%, unfairly 59%

YouGov also pointed out that most jobs being lost in the public sector are women’s jobs, while women are also more likely to notice any reduction in front-line services as mothers and carers.

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


1. So Much For Subtlety

A YouGov poll for the Sunday Times found that 35% of women regarded David Cameron as the greatest male chauvinist of the three party leaders.

So he probably has the women’s vote then.

But there is a gender gap in response to cuts.

YouGov asked “Thinking about the way the Government is cutting spending to reduce the Government’s deficit, do you think this is being done fairly or unfairly”.
Men replied: fairly, 35%, unfairly 55%; women said: fairly 24%, unfairly 59%

YouGov also pointed out that most jobs being lost in the public sector are women’s jobs, while women are also more likely to notice any reduction in front-line services as mothers and carers.

There may be a gendered response, but it is amazingly small. Just 4% more women think it is unfair. Even though they are the most likely consumers of those government services being cut. The big difference is among those who think it is fair – which suggests a lot of women simply don’t care. They must have opted for the “don’t know” answer.

This is not such bad news for Cameron.

yeah, and 2+2=5 as always, eh MaM?

Isn’t Clegg the one who’s loved and left half of the Midlands?

The question was who is the *biggest* chauvanist, to which 35% answered Cameron.

That’s a pretty odd way to ask the question and will clearly bias people to saying at least one of them is a chauvanist in the first place.

So a typically misleading opinion poll really.

5. Chaise Guevara

@ 4 Tom

“The question was who is the *biggest* chauvanist, to which 35% answered Cameron.

That’s a pretty odd way to ask the question and will clearly bias people to saying at least one of them is a chauvanist in the first place.”

In fairness, it says “which, if any, of the three main party leaders…” and includes “none of them” as a response. If anything, the bigger problem is that the other two leaders may end up looking better off than they should because up to 35% of people may think they are chauvanists, just less so than Cameron.

That said, I’m surprised by the result as I’m not aware of anything Cameron’s really done to deserve it. I’d guess the following were factors:

1) Overreaction to the admittedly inadvisable “calm down, dear” comment.

2) Tories are generally see as socially old-fashioned, so he might be picking up some heat that would be better aimed at some of his backbenchers, voters and predecessors.

3) He’s a hate figure among many on the left, unsurprisingly, and people tend to make irrational negative judgments about people they hate. Clegg’s probably protected from this because he’s seen as a progressive individual and the people who hate him probably hate Cameron more.

4% of the people polled isn’t much but if it is scaled up to 4% of the female population then we are talking millions.

Besides by looking at the 4% difference between Men and Women you are ignoring the fact that on average 57% of the country the cuts are being implemented unfairly compared to 24.5% who think fairly.

If Cameron is happy that women don’t disagree with him by much more than men then he’s missing the big picture.

@5 Yes but if you suggest a negative idea about a politician, people will readily agree with it, regardless of whether they really thought it already.

8. So Much For Subtlety

6. Chris

4% of the people polled isn’t much but if it is scaled up to 4% of the female population then we are talking millions.

True. Enough to swing an election? We will see.

Besides by looking at the 4% difference between Men and Women you are ignoring the fact that on average 57% of the country the cuts are being implemented unfairly compared to 24.5% who think fairly.

If Cameron is happy that women don’t disagree with him by much more than men then he’s missing the big picture.

Sure. But that is not the narrative that is being pushed here is it? Nor is it about Cameron. It is about the people doing the polling. They clearly want to find that the Tories are sexist. It is the narrative at play after all. They did not find all that many people agreed with them. They hyped what amounted to their prejudices anyway. Yes, Cameron is in trouble if over half the people think the cuts are unfair. But he is not in trouble with women.

7. Tom (iow)

Yes but if you suggest a negative idea about a politician, people will readily agree with it, regardless of whether they really thought it already.

But they will also speak from their prejudices. If people believe that Tories are sexist, and they do, then if you ask random people who have not thought about it much, they will agree the Tories are sexist. Regardless of whether they are or not. This poll is simply trying to strengthen those prejudices. Which is why it is so odd that people don’t seem to be playing along.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    35% of women say Cameron a 'chauvinist' http://t.co/IdLihr4E

  2. sunny hundal

    35% of women say Cameron greatest male ‘chauvinist’ of party leaders; just 18% say it's family friendly http://t.co/CBpK4hVZ

  3. Brixtonite

    RT @libcon 35% of women say Cameron a 'chauvinist' http://t.co/CfpOlkcj < only 35%? Really?

  4. Alex Braithwaite

    35% of women say Cameron a ‘chauvinist’ | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/TbLZpAMk via @libcon

  5. Howard Dartnall

    35% of women say Cameron a 'chauvinist' http://t.co/IdLihr4E

  6. Vicky Heywood

    RT @libcon 35% of women say Cameron a 'chauvinist' http://t.co/DUzhlfCq

  7. Kayleigh Anne

    35% of Women Say Cameron a 'Chauvinist', Only 18% Consider Tories a Family Friendly Party: http://t.co/272GUzjB

  8. Lauren G

    35% of Women Say Cameron a 'Chauvinist', Only 18% Consider Tories a Family Friendly Party: http://t.co/272GUzjB

  9. David Golden

    @Kevin_Maguire 35% of women say Cameron a ‘chauvinist’ | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/jM1uPLOx via @libcon

  10. David Golden

    @RachelReevesMP 35% of women say Cameron a ‘chauvinist’ | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/jM1uPLOx via @libcon

  11. David Golden

    @lfeatherstone 35% of women say Cameron a ‘chauvinist’ | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/jM1uPLOx via @libcon

  12. David Golden

    @YvetteCooperMP @Telegraph 35% of women say Cameron a ‘chauvinist’ | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/jM1uPLOx via @libc

  13. angela

    http://t.co/puLcgGUi You Gov poll showed that women believe David Cameron is most chauvinistic of all party leaders. #tories #boris johnson

  14. angela

    http://t.co/puLcgGUi 35% of women think DC is chauvinistic compared to 5% for Ed Mili and 2% for Nick Clegg. #boris johnson #davidcameron

  15. Ian

    http://t.co/puLcgGUi 35% of women think DC is chauvinistic compared to 5% for Ed Mili and 2% for Nick Clegg. #boris johnson #davidcameron

  16. Sam (Satyan)

    http://t.co/puLcgGUi You Gov poll showed that women believe David Cameron is most chauvinistic of all party leaders. #tories #boris johnson

  17. angelique

    http://t.co/puLcgGUi You Gov poll showed that women believe David Cameron is most chauvinistic of all party leaders. #tories #boris johnson

  18. angelique

    http://t.co/puLcgGUi 35% of women think DC is chauvinistic compared to 5% for Ed Mili and 2% for Nick Clegg. #boris johnson #davidcameron





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