Legal Cheek election poll results: law students and lawyers back Labour

Ed Miliband’s margin over the Conservatives is narrow, but enough to give the red rose party an outright majority


Ed Miliband will be striding into Downing Street on Friday — if Legal Cheek readers get their way.

Our 24-hour poll conducted yesterday and this morning — attracting nearly 750 responses — shows the Labour Party winning 35.3% of the vote in tomorrow’s UK general election, narrowly pipping the Conservatives, which came in on 33.8%.

The Liberal-Democrats will be pushed into fourth place behind the Greens, according to the survey. Some 9.8% of respondents backed Natalie Bennett’s Green Party, while only 8.7% gave the nod to Nick Clegg’s Lib-Dems.

The Lib-Dems have historically been a favourite with some students, until the party famously ditched its opposition to university tuition fees during the last coalition government.

Graph: Legal Cheek general election poll results


The survey indicated that Legal Cheek readers have little time for the purple revolution proposed by Nigel Farage and his Ukip party. Only 3.3% of respondents backed the pint-guzzling EU bashers.

An imponderable left by the survey results is the impact of the Scottish Nationalist Party. Nationwide polls across the population have consistently indicated a hung parliament being the likely result, not least because of an expected landslide for the Scots Nats north of the border. Most Legal Cheek readers are based in England and Wales, but some Scots did respond, with Nicola Sturgeon’s merry band of separatists picking up 3% support in this poll.

The majority of the 735 respondents were students; slightly more than 54% said they were studying law. The next category was qualified barristers, with marginally more than 12% of the total saying they were from that side of the legal profession. An additional 4% of respondents were pupil barristers.

The largest branch of the profession also weighed in — more than 10% of respondents were solicitors with another 10% being trainees. Other respondents included legal academics, recruiters and even the judiciary.

Graph: Legal Cheek general election poll respondents


The Legal Cheek poll results came just hours after a fellow legal affairs publication flagged the fact that the older, top end of the solicitors’ profession was definitely blue.

A Legal Week poll (£) of law firm partners resulted in 70% of respondents backing the Tories.

And yesterday, the Times Higher Education Supplement released a survey showing that law school lecturers were even keener on Labour than Legal Cheek readers. Some 40% said they would back Miliband’s party, with the Tories and Greens each on 19%, and the Lib-Dems languishing on 6%.

While hardly scientific, when the Legal Cheek poll results were fed into the BBC’s election result calculator, a top outcome popped out the other side for Labour’s bacon-butty-scoffer-in-chief.

According to Auntie’s computer, Ed Miliband’s party would waltz into No 10 with an outright majority of 54. The Legal Cheek House of Commons would look like this:


That would mean former human rights law specialist solicitor Sadiq Khan slipping onto the woolsack as Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice. In turn, it would be good-bye to incumbent Chris Grayling.

With Grayling perched on a constituency majority of about 15,000 in the Surrey seat of Epsom and Ewell, it is unlikely that he will be turfed out of the commons altogether.

However, with the glory days of the Ministry of Justice behind him, Grayling might be tempted to return to his former career as a television producer — or challenge a certain B Johnson for the Tory Party leadership.


Not Amused

Kids and public sector workers vote Labour. People who have to earn the money vote Tory. People who live off other people’s money vote for more of other people’s money. People who earn the money vote to keep some of it. T’was ever thus.

There might be an argument for voting Labour if they ever spent a single penny of my money on infrastructure or directly on the poor. Instead they spend it on public sector non-jobs and the BSB.

“The problem with socialists is that sooner or later they run out of other people’s money”


How the hell are you and your high horse going to fit through the polling station doors tomorrow?


People who care about a fairer society vote Labour. We don’t all live in a privileged bubble and my vote recognises that.

Bill Chapman

I’ll give my own name to respond to the breathtaking silliness here. The ludiocrous “Kids and public sector workers vote Labour” is beyond contempt. Most of the Labour voters I know are owners of small businesses and work hard for a living. I’m looking forward to a Labour government. I don’t see any serious alternative.

Gagarin's boot

Wow, with a nose so deep up your own arse it’s a miracle you can still manage to type this tripe. Shame on you mate.


I just knew that at the bottom of this article would be a heavily disliked comment by Not Amused, bemoaning the audacity of other people for not supporting the Tories. It displays a unique victim complex whereby those raking in enormous piles of money somehow think that they are downtrodden by the gibbering masses, voting for left wing governments and clamoring at the gates to steal everything they have.

The Tories have bankrupted the country – any reasonably ‘commercially aware’ trainee should be able to tell you that, with national debt skyrocketed and most people doing far worse than they ever did under a Tory government. Labour fixes the country, stabilises the economy, reduces the deficit, and gets people into work. The Tories ruin it by trying to transfer all the wealth upwards and cutting everything, somehow simultaneously ALSO raising the deficit. Such has it always been. Vote for the Tories out of selfishness if you must, in some pig headed fantasy land where you alone earn money in a vacuum, independent of the state mechanisms that stop someone from stealing everything you have, or providing your social support network and transportation. Don’t try to pretend that you are being anything more than a high and mighty fool.


You clearly aren’t a ‘reasonably commercially aware trainee’.


Guff and poppycock.

I’m lucky enough to be rich enough to be well looked after by this Government and through the oddest and seemingly most deliberate attempt to destroy the poor I have witnessed the most heartbreaking and soul destroying examples of those who can not help themselves left to fester all in the name of ‘austerity’. We’re all in this together. Are we fuck.

This is the Thatcher legacy. Greed and selfishness. So many people using the ‘more money in my pocket’ to justify voting for these bunch of gimps.

And we are all more disgusting for it.

Look at the bigger picture.

Don’t be evil.

Juan Pertayta

All the parties lie. Of course. But the Labour lie (and in acute cases, unshakeable delusion) is the biggest and most obnoxious: to vote Labour is to be more compassionate and decent.

Utter bollocks. As a machine Labour’s exercise of power has never been any less ruthless, dishonest or sly than the Tories or any other party. As to voters, there are just as many selfish, small-minded, pushy, greedy, racist, homophobic, misogynistic, etc, etc supporters of Labour as there are of any other party.

If you believe the state should have a greater role in social and economic affairs go for it and vote Labour. That’s a perfectly respectable point of view. But it’s a political position, not a moral one.

Not Amused

This is very true and it is important people say this.

Most people vote Labour because they (wrongly) believe it is a moral thing to do. That is exceedingly dangerous. Government is not about morality. It is about laws and to a lesser extent policy.

Labour governments always increase the number of criminal offences. Can we really say that we desperately needed a new offence of necrophilia? Was it rampant? Isn’t someone who commits necrophilia more likely to need psychological help than a prison cell? So why did Labour criminalise it?

The truth is Labour voters are good people, trying to be morally good. They’ve just been suckered in to believing that a government is or can be morally good. All that ‘ethical foreign policy’ bollocks, followed up immediately by an illegal war. All that ‘education education education’ followed up by implementing and increasing tuition fees.

Government is, or should be, about law and not wrecking the economy so that we have some money left over to help the poor. It’s not about hurting rich people just because you don’t like them.


Of course we are, the tories decimated our profession.

Even as a commercial lawyer in the city, I can still see the impact the legal aid cuts are having at the criminal, family and human rights end of the profession.

It’s appalling. The quicker we can get the tories out, the better it will be for the legal profession at least.

Not Amused

Lawyers really mutn’t ignore the fact that it was Labour who cut legal aid 3 times while we were wealthy. Nor should they avoid thanking Labour for deregulation of entry and simultaneous over regulation by the bsb, sra and lsb.

It saddens me that people do nor understand the simple logic that doing good things requires money. Tories seek to (and do) obtain this money by improving the economy and thus overall tax take. Labour increase taxes and wreck the economy for ideological reasons – meaning there is less money overall to help.

The comment that anticipated a negatively received comment by me – yes, this site is read 80% by kids, the majority of whom vote Labour. So popularity was unlikely.


It’s funny how you say law students are children when they disagree with you on politics, but young professionals who have to look after themselves when they are subject to advances by creepy old men at recruitment events.

Not Amused

I didn’t say children, I said kids. I don’t think it’s inaccurate and I don’t think it’s patronising. I use exactly the same word when I talk about kids who need protecting (mostly from shit unis being sold to them by shyster socialists as ‘just as good’).

It’s a short hand expression for young people, nothing more than that. If the kids could both grow up and stop playing victim because someone said they were pretty AND grow up and stop voting for a fundamentally dishonest political party that pretends to care about the poor while fucking the poor over at ever single opportunity (and making themselves rich in the process) then that would be super.

(I actually believe the kids will do this – that’s sort of why I’m here, I have a lot more faith in the kids than in our so called respectable elders)


Tell that to all my working class friends, all of whom earn (albeit poorly) and are voting Tory. They believe the conservative PR that Labour apparently caused the banking crisis AND they still don’t forgive labour for the Iraq War.

Not Amused

Labour didn’t cause the banking crisis.

What they did was recklessly start borrowing and over spending from 2003. So when the banking crisis came we were unnecessarily over exposed. Gordon Brown genuinely believed he had “ended boom and bust” and that was reckless.

Instead of spending the money they borrowed on infrastructure, Labour spent it on public sector non-jobs because they knew that each extra employee would vote Labour. They spent a large slice on the FSA which cost a vast amount of public money (it is still not self sufficient despite promises that it would be). The FSA failed to in any way prevent, minimise or lessen the banking crisis – despite that being the whole point of spending that money.

So no, Labour did not create the banking crisis. But they were completely stupid and they did destroy the economy – purely to buy more votes.

Lawst Cause

And the Tories in their infinite wisdom had pledged to match Labour’s spending commitments at that point. So your point is that you shouldn’t vote for either party?


Absolutely baffles me that lawyers and future lawyers would even consider voting Conservative.
Just makes me wonder what’s the fucking point? Bend over and let Grayling have his fun.

Not Amused

Well, most lawyers do not live off public money. Most lawyers have privately paying clients. Ed Milliband is therefore the far greater business threat. While you may have sympathy with publicly paid lawyers (and I do), it is far more important to you that your privately paying clients prosper.

This labour government will clearly devastate the banking industry. That’s a big problem. They’re anti hedge fund. That’s another massive problem. The wider business community has no faith in them and that corporation tax will go up. That’s a massive problem. They’re proposing a weird property tax which will also impact both HNW and property practitioners. Above all they’re going to be anti-London in order to kow-tow to the SNP. That’s another massive problem.

When you add on the fact that most older lawyers pay top rate tax. That they lose the lower band relief. That their pensions have been dicked over and that milibean now wants to also tax their house and increase their income tax (again). Then you can hopefully start to see why lawyers might have some concerns.

I have no problem being anti-Grayling and voting Tory. Grayling really isn’t a proper Tory and getting rid of him is far easier than repairing another totally wrecked economy.

Given the Labour inspired crash destroyed NQ jobs for at least 3 years and ruined the lives of kids (forcing tuition fees to 9k) – you might start to ask why the kids think Labour are nice.

Not Amused

I would add that it was really very different with Blair. Blair at least looked (and in fairness mostly was) competent. It was time for a change and Blair rightly fought against a Tory party stuck in a socially illiberal rut.

But things have very much changed. The Tories are socially liberal and forced through gay marriage. In contrast all the Blairites are dead and vanished. Only Brown’s legacy remains and most of us remember what Brown was like.

Disgruntled Future Trainee

Sorry Not Amused – usually you make (some) sense in your comments, but this time you’ve showed just how much Tory kool-aid you’ve been sipping recently.

Let me guess, the EU is another major threat to privately-employed lawyers so there’s a need for a referendum regarding that too, right? Disgraceful.

Not Amused

I am sorry I have disappointed you. But HSBC aren’t just saying they’ll leave for shits and giggles you know …


The gay marriage vote only passed with the near unanimous support of Labour and Lib Dem – man Tories voted against it.

So it was passed despite the “socially liberal” Tories.

Yorkie Lawyer

Well I am neither a kid nor a public sector worker but a fully qualified solicitor in a national commercial firm and I will be voting Labour. It is nonsense to suggest “People who who have to earn money vote Tory”, some people just happen to care about justice, fairness and equality and that is why they don’t vote Tory.

Not Amused

And some people buy in to slogans and vote for parties like they vote for football teams. People who live in a house worth 3.5 million, avoid inheritance tax, pretend to care about the poor and yet do nothing for the poor are unattractive to some of us.

Even the most dogmatic labour voter has to accept that social mobility never decreased so fast in Britain as from 1997 to 2010. That the independent schooling sector boomed (not least propped up by Labour ministers) and that ‘justice’ received 3 successive cuts to legal aid.


The tories are finished. Haven’t won an election since 1992. Can’t really win a seat outside the South East. Time for Britain to move on.

Not Amused

Well yes but I think that rather than think that is a brilliant achievement, you need to recognise that currently in the UK only 3 regions run at a profit – London, the South East and the East. That means they are paying for everywhere else.

So it’s not obviously a good thing if the unprofitable parts of the country get power over the profit making bit and then shut it down. Because then we don’t have any money.

There is a sort of odd morality at hold in Britain. It says that all profit is wrong. That anyone who makes money is evil and heartless. That the only moral thing to do is to tax those people. That’s fine for a moral system, but as a method of running the country it tends to fail (see France)


I agree. Bloody northerners, welshies and scots. Let’s just kill them off.

Not Amused


You know, legal cheek comments are pretty predictable. Someone pretends they are helping the poor, I point out they are not helping but instead hurting the poor, and I get told I hate the poor.

If you have 3 profitable regions in a country you don’t shut them down just to make the unprofitable regions happier. You invest in the unprofitable regions via HS2 and George Osborne’s Northern infrastructure plans.

Tories always get attacked. But they do actually do good. IDS does actually care about the poor. Osborne really is trying with the North (even though they hate Tories very very much). To be a Tory is to constantly be trying to do the best thing in a very difficult world where everyone pretends you are satan and the chap who messed it all up keeps lying and saying he didn’t.

Simon Myerson

Publicly funded law is the way that 99% of the people in this country access the law.

Without it, victims suffer, people lose faith in the justice system and – perhaps most importantly – kids in family disputes suffer. Once confidence is lost you get vigilante justice, unfair deals and a widening gap between the electorate and the governing class.

You simply cannot claim to be socially liberal whilst watching that happen and voting for it to happen. It is the antithesis of liberality that something which everyone needs and requires is only accessible to those who happen to be able to pay, or who have friends. It does not have to be paid for by the State – but this government rejects an insurance based solution as well.

So, although the Labour Party has a crap record as well, there is only one party in this election that is committed to destroying the access to justice glue which holds a society together. And that’s Cameron’s lot.

Not Amused

Simon you know that’s not true.

1) Most people access the law through non-contentious interactions – births, marriages, deaths are still popular, as is conveyancing.

2) Even if it were true, this line that the Tories are anti-legal aid is deeply unfair. The Labour government cut legal aid 3 times during a period of prosperity and richness. Why was that not ideological? Why is the Tories cutting legal aid once when the country is bankrupt ideological? It’s just not honest Simon. Labour will not reverse a single penny of the cuts – as well you know.

If lawyers were compelled to vote solely on the basis of legal aid then they would have to form a new party of arguably vote Lib Dem. It’s just not on to pretend Labour didn’t do what they did or would undo the thing they have said they won’t undo.

Graham King

I am constantly astonished to find that those who claim to be on the progressive wing of politics are deep down utterly conservative, opposed to the new, and rooted in a superannuated vision of society born in the 1940s, clearly moribund by the 1970s, and threatening now with its sclerotic grip to strangle the vestiges of Enterprise out of our economy.

Paying customers have real power. But the socialist vision is not of customers – it is of passive, disempowered, dependent recipients of state dole. Doled out their health care, their legal services, their education, their housing and the benefits they live on…. even if they are in work! In place of the market, the dubious right to complain to some fuckwit commissar and be told to bugger off in the name of the greater good.

I am sick of encountering the well heeled Lords and Ladies bountiful of the bar whose vision of themselves is as some sort of higher functionary, dispensing the largesse of the state. Is that what we are reduced to? I do not want to be some glorified social worker: I do not want to minister to needs, I want to sell a service and I am fully prepared to do it in competition with others. That is how need is met in all the branches of our society that actually WORK! I want to serve them well and be paid well for doing so. I don’t want socialism and I want to put the dependency culture fostered by every government since WW2 EXCEPT Thatcher’s, in the bin.

I want David Cameton back in No 10 and George Osborne ready to succeed him in 2020 and I am voting for it tomorrow.


If you think that modern Labour voters believe in USSR style communism then I’m not sure that it is them who are living in the 70s. The modern Labour party believes in market economics for areas in which it works which, yes, include finance and law. What they oppose is the slavish adoration of ‘markets’ espoused by most Thatcherites, which sees market economics as the best way of running everything.

Labour have not suggested nationalising the legal profession so I am unsure what your comment was about, really.

You have to be an idiot to think that the Government can run everything, but you also have to be an idiot to think the market can run everything.

Graham King

If “publicly funded law is the way 99% of people access…” then that is effectively nationalisation. That we remain independent contractors is a cypher when the state makes itself effectively monopoly customer. I used the word “commissar” when of course they are now called “regulators” – it amounts to the same thing.

Do you say socialists do NOT want state provided education, law, medicine, and housing? And to hand out more in so-called benefits? I suggest you have a look at Milliband’s manifesto.


It never ceases to amaze me how much utter contempt one half of voters holds the other half in. Why so much hatred? I thought lawyers were all about rationale debate and productive discussion about opposing points of view?

Votie McVoterson

I am a trainee that has come from a very ecnomically negative background. I clawed my way through and got to where I currently am. I am voting Con. Without a shadow of a doubt. I’m quite aware that Grayling has caused oodles of damage. Indeed, he can not really be sympathised with. The damage is irreparable. But that is one (bad) facet to an otherwise effective government that has driven cuts and come out as effective in driving growth and visualising the commercial needs of the country in both an industrial and services sense. George Osborne has been VERY effective in that strand. The country is not ready for spending and borrowing to make money – and quite frankly I cannot agree with Ed Balls’ ethos that ‘you spend money to make money’. That is absurd. Especially in the state that our economy currently is in.

I will also be that guy that says this: the innevitable coalition with the SNP should Labour steal seats will be disastorous for this country (England) and will spell the start on the iron grip of the Sturgeon.


And it’s exactly this type of voter that I find the most depressing. Basically you’re saying I worked my ass off from the bottom so no one else deserves state help. Tell that to a woman fleeing domestic violence, yet thanks to cuts and changes in the law, is almost unable to prove the bleeding obvious before the courts. Yes, she should pull herself up by her own bootstraps… *sigh*

I don’t mind people voting Tory, and I respect different political opinions but you should all have the honesty to admit that the guys you’re voting for have screwing poor people, and to quite a degree. The disabled, the sick, other vulnerable people, have all suffered under Con-Dem government. [And I say the same about Labour when they/if they do such things too, so no hypocracy here!] So if you can’t admit it publicly, then at least in private to yourselves admit that you don’t care enough about such people to vote differently – I think if we were all a bit more honest we’d have better politicians… on the other hand if we were honest about it, there would probably never be another Labour government ever again…

Not Amused

Tories help the poor.

Firstly we need to understand there are two categories of poor. The vulnerable and the unemployed. Under the coalition most vulnerable people are better off. The genuinely disabled have seen their benefits go up. Legal aid has not been cut for domestic violence.

For the unemployed the coalition has created over a million jobs and we have almost record levels of unemployment following a huge economic crash.

The Labour party do not help the poor. They farm the poor in order to generate and maintain public sector jobs. The Labour party always increases the amount of criminal offences – disproportionately impacting the poor. They meddle and interfere in the lives of poor people without ever actually assisting them. Glasgow has been Labour controlled for more than half a century and despite millions in public sector jobs, the poor are still dirt poor, and dying in their 50s.

The only real way to help the poor, is the way I was helped when I was born poor. Through education and encouraging hard work and ambition poor born kids can succeed. But it was Labour who took away the Grammar schools. The 13 years of Labour rule saw the worst regression in Social Mobility in 100 years. Moreover the dominance and pandering to the NUT has seen our school system decay in to incompetence (to the point where everyone, including Labour ministers, now uses independent schools). This is despite us paying more per head than south korea.

So this whole ‘Labour help the poor’ crap is quite irritating. Breaking the economy helps no one.

Graham King

thank goodness there is a spark of enterprise and a vein of common sense amongst young lawyers. Even those who DO believe in state provision should realise – no money, no provision! And who was it who said, “I am sorry, there us no money…” ?


Here are some facts: the Conservatives say that they have managed the economy well, however, when compared to inflation GDP, GDP per capita and average wages are all lower than they were in 2010. Indeed, that’s not just an aggregate figure, the Conservatives have failed on the economy every year – these aren’t made-up stats, find the actual data from the INS and work it out for yourself.

To put a figure on it: average wages today are around £2,300 lower than they would have been if they’d only managed to keep pace with inflation since 2010.

Additionally, the Conservatives claim that they have managed the economy better than other nations – well, they failed that too, of the G7 the UK had the lowest level of growth since 2010, except Italy. Wow, we beat Italy on the economy, when everyone thought a couple of years ago that Italy was going bankrupt.


an interesting poll, however, 750 votes, the majority of which from law students, is hardly representative.

Not-Guilty Nigel

I’m well into the higher rate tax bracket, am self employed, have a very comfortable life, but I vote Labour.

Unless a voter happens to be a multimillionaire, the Tories frankly couldn’t care less about your interests.

How any lawyer could vote Tory after the complete fuck up that Chris Grayling has made of things I don’t know.

Not Amused

You have to be a multimillionaire to be on the Labour front bench.

I would personally just like this recent phenomena of Labour pretending all Tories are evil and that they are all saints to end. Firstly not all Labour people are saints. Secondly not all Tories are evil. But MUCH more importantly – this argument has reduced British politics to the level of a bad Star Wars film.

There might be very many good reasons for voting Labour after you have read their manifesto, judged the competence of their front bench and thought about whether you want the country to be run that way for 5 years. But two incredibly shit reasons to vote Labour are 1) Because your dad did/people in your area always do and 2) Because that is morally good and Tories are evil.

Politics is the business of governing an incredibly complex country. It is holding the power to radically alter the entire legal system. It is serious serious stuff. Yet in 1997 Labour began reducing politics to a patronising, inaccurate and really distasteful “we good them bad” message.

Now Labour did not used to do this. We used to have a reasonable level of political discourse. I can explain (at incredibly boring) length exactly why I vote Tory. I can also (and do) list the Tories I do not like. I can (and do) freely criticise Tory policy. If the Labour party fundamentally changed and produced a manifesto I agreed with – I would vote Labour. That is me doing my bit for democracy.

All this “Tories are evil baby eating Nazis” shit is just really really unpleasant. It’s just “not on”. It’s really rude and frankly mean. I get a lot of it and short of asking you all to cry me a river can I please just ask you to be lawyers and for once think about how the otherside might feel? Think about why we might be arguing for the things we are arguing for? Think about just what it is that leads a poor born kid who is now successful and fully committed to making sure that other poor born kids can enjoy that same success vote Tory.


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