"Lawyers seem to place greater importance on areas that will impact them professionally, such as the economy and the UKs relationship with the European Union and the rest of the world."
Duane Cormell, Director at Realm Recruit
As part of the research, solicitors, law students and other law firm employees from across the North West, Yorkshire and the Midlands were asked about their voting intentions and questioned about their main policy concerns ahead of polling day.
Nearly three-quarters of those surveyed said that the parties’ strategy for exiting the European Union is important in determining who gets their vote. However Brexit wasn’t the most decisive issue for many lawyers; for a quarter of respondents, the economy was their top concern.
Across the UK generally, health and the NHS is a key issue, with recent Ipsos MORI research revealing that for it is the main worry of 44% of voters. In contrast, only 17% of lawyers believe healthcare to be the most important issue, with most survey respondents prioritising other policy areas like the economy and Brexit.
Amongst the lawyers surveyed, education and equality were also significant, with 8% and 9% of respondents citing these areas as their top priority. While immigration is a topic high on the agenda for many voters, Realm’s research found that only 5% of lawyers believe it to be a crucial matter in this election.
In 2015, election turnout was around 66% but Realm’s research revealed found that an overwhelming 97% of lawyers are planning to vote. Interestingly, however, only 60% of those said they intended to back the same party they voted for in 2015.
Another key finding was the number of floating voters. Nearly 20% of lawyers said they were undecided about who they are going to back, indicating the fickle nature of the modern electorate.
However, the majority of those surveyed had made up their minds. While the latest polls show that May’s Conservatives are 4 points ahead, according to Realm’s survey, it will be Jeremy Corbyn not the Prime Minister, moving into Number 10 on Friday.
Half of the lawyers who took part said they were planning on voting for the Labour Party and only 18% planned to back the Tories. The Liberal Democrats came in third place, with 10% of respondents saying they would be backing Tim Farron’s party. In terms of gender, a higher proportion of female lawyers said they were voting Labour, and a quarter were undecided (compared with only 9% of males).
Realm’s director Duane Cormell commented on the findings:
“Lawyers seem to place greater importance on policy areas that will impact them professionally, such as the economy and the UK’s relationship with the European Union and the rest of the world.
Given the age demographic of our respondents (well over half of those surveyed were under the age of 45) and the fact that members of the regional legal profession tend to be liberal-leaning, it’s not surprising that Labour garnered the most support amongst the lawyers we spoke to.
However, it’s important to remember that the viewpoints of lawyers are not shared by the British electorate as a whole and it’s unlikely that the election result on Friday will reflect the views of the individuals we surveyed”
Realm Recruit is a dynamic and forward-thinking legal recruitment consultancy. They use innovative assessment methods and market-leading technology to supply legal private practices across the North West, Yorkshire and the Midlands with outstanding talent at all levels.