Greens on Facebook: poor Marxist vegan ramblers?
By Joe Lo
Polling organisation YouGov have released data showing what the typical Green Party of England and Wales supporter is like, using a sample of nearly 2,000 of us. And it’s both interesting and amusing.
Much of it we already knew. We are young, left-wing, slightly posher than average (as are supporters of the three main parties) but with very little disposable income. Many of us are teachers and work in the public or voluntary sector.
Our favourite meals are vegetarian: stuffed aubergine, meat-free shepherd’s pie, curries and nut roasts. Tories prefer Veal escalope and Ukippers like good old-fashioned ham, eggs and chips.
As for sport, predictably we love to cycle, but we also like motorsports (drag and motorcycle racing) and unarmed combat (wrestling and mixed martial arts). Ukipers prefer darts, the only sport Britain still rules the world at.
We are much more likely than average to own a cat, which explains the popularity of the #CatsNotCuts campaign. I would guess this is a result of us being more urban with less space for dogs, which Tories are fond of (possibly because dogs treat you as their natural superiors, which Tories like).
We are writers, music-lovers, culture-vultures, ramblers, fruit-growers and self-educators with a predictable passion for good causes. Tories prefer golf and the British Monarchy.
We describe ourselves as ethical, alternative, imaginative, principled and subversive but nerdy and self-absorbed with a penchant for procrastination. Ukip voters describe themselves as right-wing and intolerant. No argument there…
One of our favourite sayings is “basically, Marx was right” whereas Tories prefer to say “I look for profitable ways to invest my money”.
We still shop and bank with the co-op probably because of it is ethical credentials. We drive fiats and skodas, probably because they’re cheap and we’re not the type to buy status cars, unlike UKIP voters who are more likely to drive a Jaguar.
We wear American Apparel, probably because they produce their clothes ethically (although they have a very unethical founder and some dodgy adverts)
Despite them not inviting us into the televised election debates, we still rely heavily on the BBC for our news, particularly the website and Radio Four, although Russia Today is one of our most visited sites. On social media, we also use Tumblr and Twitter more than most.
Surprisingly (perhaps scandalously), we are also likely to be British Airways customers, despite their environmentally damaging business.
Our favourite film is Pride, (LGBT people and miners uniting and fighting Tories – what’s not to like?). Our favourite band are the multiracial trendsetting Coventry outfit The Specials and our favourite celebrity is Russell Brand, followed by four excellent journalists (Louis Theroux, Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Evan Davis and Jon Snow).
We love Twin Peaks whereas Labour party supporters like The Teletubbies (yet they style themselves as the grown-up party of potential government!).
The websites we visit are Greenpeace, Avaaz, Russia Today, the New Statesman and (just ahead of the Green Party website) the Labour Party website. We also like learning new words with merriam-webster.com, another sign of our desire for self-improvement. Liberal Democrats like to visit Anglican.Org, the home of the Anglican church.
On Twitter, we follow anti tax-avoidance campaigners UK Uncut, Caroline Lucas, Labour MP Tom Watson, Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger and lefty songwriter Billy Bragg. Liberal Democrats follow actor Stephen Mangan, singer Ed Sheeran and right-wing columnist Fraser Nelson.
On Facebook, we like the Green-friendly blog Another Angry Voice along with progressive campaigns and the small left-wing party Left Unity. Ukippers prefer the far-right Facebook page “Britain First”, along with armed forces pages and charities (a lot of Ukippers are in the armed forces).
We spend a lot of time on the internet and BBC iplayer and very little time in front of the TV, possibly as a result of our youth. Predictably, we read the Guardian and Independent as well as Private Eye, the New Scientist and NME.
Our favourite sources of televised news are Channel 4 News, Newsnight and Mock the Week.
Despite our one MP being from the South Coast, it seems it is the region of England and Wales where we are least popular, followed by the North East. We do best in the West Country, followed by London, the North-West and the Midlands.
In many ways, (demographics, lifestyle, choice of newspaper, interests, love of the internet and cats) we are very similar to supporters of the Liberal Democrats, perhaps unsurprising given many of us were Liberal Democrat voters at the last election.
On the other hand, we are also the polar opposite of Ukip, in our personal lives as much as in our policies.
Our thanks to YouGov for providing an amusing Monday distraction! Have a go here…