MORE women and younger people backed the SNP in the Scottish Parliamentary 2021 election than in 2016, a top pollster has said.

Professor John Curtice analysed the demographic breakdown of the constituency vote in the election from data contained in a Savanta ComRes post-election poll.

He found that women and young people in Scotland flocked to the SNP in their constituencies.

In 2016, 47% of the total number of male voters backed the SNP, with 44% of female voters also lending their vote to the SNP.

But there was a clear shift in 2021, with 52% of the total of female voters giving their constituency vote to the SNP and a slight drop to 43% of the total number of male voters.

The National:

The percentage of female voters also rose slightly for Labour, up from 19% of total female voters in 2016 to 24% in 2021. 

The proportion of women backing the Tories and Libdems fell. In 2016, the Tories won 24% of the total female vote share, but in 2021 this fell to only 16%. The number of males voting for the Tories rose – from 20% in 2016 to 26% in 2021.

For the LibDems, who held 9% of the female vote share in 2016, this fell to only 5%. For men, it remained relatively unchanged – 6% in 2016, and 7% in 2021.

Curtice analysed the data on his blog What Scotland Thinks. He wrote: “It suggests there were sharp differences in support for the SNP by both gender and age, with women and younger people being more likely to support the party than men and older people. In contrast, the academic British Election Study found little difference in the level of support for the SNP by age group in 2016, while what had been a long-standing tendency for the party (and for independence) to be more popular with men than women was somewhat still in evidence. 

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“Plenty here to ponder and analyse in the weeks and months to come as more data become available, but these statistics would seem to indicate that the sharpened political division in the pattern of party support is accompanied by sharper – and new – demographic divisions in Scottish electoral politics too.”

Younger people are also now backing the SNP by a much higher margin than in previous parliamentary elections, while older voters tend to favour the Tories.

In 2016, the SNP still did better amongst the age groups 18-34 (45% of vote share) and 35-54 (48% of total votes), with the lowest percentage coming from the 55+ age group (44%).

The National:

The latest results show that young people are clearly flocking to the SNP, while those in the 55+ category lent more of their vote share to the Tories. 

It should also be noted that in the 2021 Scottish Parliament election, 16 and 17-year-olds were able to vote, but they are not included in the 2016 figures.

In 2021, 58% of the 16-34 age group gave their constituency vote to the SNP, and 51% of the 35-54 age group.

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The number of voters in these age groups who backed the Tories in 2016 has fallen dramatically. In the 16-34 category, it fell from 23% in 2016 to 10% in 2021. In the 35-54 age group, the Tories had 22% of the vote share in 2016, which fell to only 16% in 2021.

In the 55+ age group, the Tories vote share jumped from 22% in 2016 to 31% in 2021.