Stay-at-home mums are deserting Labour

Ordinary stay-at-home mums are deserting the Labour Party because of its ‘career woman policies’, according to sociologist Geoff Dench.

Mr Dench, who revealed his findings during a presentation on family policy, said: “Women who value home and family life above a career are becoming disenfranchised.

“The feminist ‘sisterhood’ has clearly failed them, and the result is that they are withdrawing their support from the mainstream parties.”

Plunged

In 1986, 52 per cent of economically inactive women supported Labour, but by 2008 this figure had plunged to 27 per cent.

However, the Conservative Party has failed to capitalise on this drop, and the proportion of women who have no political allegiance increased from 8 to 24 per cent between 1986 and 2006.

Support for the Conservatives among economically inactive women has remained steady at around 20 per cent.

Overlooked

During his presentation Mr Dench argued that women who are active in politics tend to be middle-class and in favour of working mothers, but this often means that the interests of stay-at-home mums are overlooked.

Mr Dench, whose research was based on an analysis of the British Social Attitudes survey, said: “Politicians of all parties should be concerned about this, because the proportion of young women who prioritise home and family has been growing steadily in recent years, and so their votes matter.”

Mr Dench presented his findings on Wednesday in the last seminar of a series held by the Centre for Policy Studies, in association with the Hera Trust.

Breadwinners

Earlier in the same series Mr Dench revealed that young mothers are increasingly turning their backs on high profile careers and looking to men as the main breadwinners.

He said: “Women with young children are going back to the very traditional division of labour in which they want the husband as the breadwinner.

“Having tried full-time working themselves they have found the home much more interesting and want to be enabled to have that”.

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