Recent weeks, following the UK General election of June 2017, have seen some fascinating political turmoil – a Conservative government clutching at straws to hang on to power; a Labour party being dragged into the realisation that it’s “left wing”; a Liberal Democrat party that’s still licking its wounds after its coalition with the Conservatives; a Green party that a lot of people love but can only get elected in Brighton; UKIP having run out of relevance; and nationalist parties trying to sound important against all the odds of reality.

Traditional psephology pundits have written reams on what psephology pundits write and mainstream media loves to publish. They have “discovered” the UBO (University of the B****in’ Obvious) facts that “old people” tended to vote as they’ve always voted – largely Conservative, with a big swing from UKIP – and that there were a lot of “new young voters” who tended to vote more for Labour. Right! That’s it then! All rolled up and a done deal! Except …

If there is one thing that the EU Referendum, the US Presidential Election, the French Presidential Election and the recent UK General Election tells us, it’s that voters are not persuaded by facts and figures but by their emotions – the strongest of which is anger.

Think about that for a moment. What is it that, politically, makes you angry? Is it the fear of losing “everything” because of the ideological policies of a “ruling elite”, or is it the belief that “anyone can make it” if they’re prepared to “get on their bike”? (Norman Tebbit reference for all you post-Thatcher children). Is it resentment that you’re having to pay taxes to keep “old farts” alive, or is it resentment that others want to take away the benefits you’ve spent a life-time earning? Perhaps it’s the way that some people don’t seem to care about the environment and world poverty, or maybe it’s that some “do-gooders” just don’t seem to have a grip on economic reality?

I’m willing to bet that at least one of those ideas gets your blood up. Why? Because they are summations of the principal drivers of emotions – our Values.

This is CDSM’s unique area of expertise and the ONLY reason that we conduct surveys that are concerned with politics at any level. We can always reproduce/confirm the mainstream psephological findings but that doesn’t interest us much. What really interests us – niggles our nerves – is WHY? This is where Values Modes come into their own.

Once the recent UK General Election was announced (but before formal campaigning began) CDSM conducted a survey of people eligible (but not necessarily registered) to vote in England, Wales and Scotland. Pat Dade wrote about this and, against all the mainstream evidence, suggested that the election was Labour’s to lose. They just needed to channel voter anger in the right way. Well, he was right, although he certainly had a lot of help from the Conservative campaign and its figurehead.

Once some of the dust had settled (early July), CDSM conducted a similar survey so that a direct comparison could be made at a Values level. This article concerns itself with just two questions from that survey because, unpacked in light of insight from the Values Modes, they tell much of the real story of the 2017 General Election.

The two questions are deceptively simple. Each uses a 5-point scale that runs “Very unhappy”, “Unhappy”, “Neutral”, “Happy”, “Very happy”. The questions are:

“As you know, the outcome of the election was a “hung” Parliament. How do you feel about that outcome?”


“The Conservative government has negotiated a one billion pound deal with the DUP in exchange for support in Parliament. How do you feel about that?”

For simplicity in the remainder of this article, we will combine the responses into “Unhappy”, “Neutral” and “Happy”.

Warning! - I’m going to move into Values-speak now.

So, who was happy about a hung Parliament? Well, 12% of those surveyed. By and large, Settlers were not. Those most over-indexed (ratio of those agreeing relative to their representation in the overall population) were the Pioneer Transcenders (index 141) and the Prospector Golden Dreamers (index 228).

Happy with a hung Parliament.

To say the least, these are two very disparate groups in Values terms. They almost never agree on anything. In fact, they are amongst the most likely pairs of Values groups to be at each others’ throats! So what’s going on?

Fundamentally, this is “mischief” (Golden Dreamer) and “revolution” (Transcender). What unites them – the ONLY thing that unites them – is a disdain for the status quo.

Overall, they tend to be bloke-ish (60/40), young-ish (60/40 under 45) and moderately well-off.

And who was unhappy about a hung Parliament? Well, a lot of people – 57% of those surveyed. Unsurprisingly, as a group, they were over-indexed amongst Settlers and older (55+) people.

Unhappy with a hung Parliament.

This is not so difficult to understand. “Safety and security” are very fundamental needs that every person has. They are very powerful needs. This is why, had they been able to stick to it, the Conservative message of “strong and stable” OUGHT to have won them the election solidly

Let’s move on to those who were happy with the Conservative/DUP deal. A cucumber sandwich short of a picnic at just 11% of those surveyed.

Happy with the DUP deal.

The stand-out Values group is the Golden Dreamers (index 249). These “mischief makers” do not make the mistake of letting anything get in the way of their own desire for wealth and power.

As a group, those happy about the deal are bloke-ish (67/33) and moderately better off. This question also unites, to some extent, young and old. Together, the 25-34 and 65+ age groups represent over 50% of those surveyed.

How does that work? Well, these groups see the deal as providing some level of “stability”. In both cases it’s the notion that “stability means strength”. However, in one case that translates into “material advantage for ME” and in the other it translates into “defence against the other for US”.

What about those who are unhappy with the DUP deal?

Unhappy with the DUP deal.

Oh! Get this! It looks very much like the Guardian readership. Well, that makes sense – except for the fact that it represents 59% of those surveyed. (The Guardian can only wish …)

There is an elephant of truth in this though. As a group, these people have a sense that raw power, for its own sake, isn’t everything for “ordinary” people. There truly is a sense in which WE are all in it together. There is a sense that WE, collectively, must take responsibility for others less fortunate than ourselves.

Now, this is where it gets really interesting – where the S hits the F. Let’s combine these two notions.

Who’s unhappy about a hung Parliament but happy about the DUP deal?

Unhappy with hung Parliament but Happy with DUP deal.

Whoa! Only 5% of those surveyed. As a group, they tend to be moderately better off, older folks – pretty much bloke-ish (70/30). It would be fair to summarise this group as “cautious but submissive”.

Moving on … who’s unhappy about a hung Parliament AND unhappy about the DUP deal?

Unhappy with hung Parliament AND Unhappy with DUP deal.

This is 39% of those surveyed. It shows one of those occasions in which “security/moral” (Settler) and “civic/ethical” (Pioneer) issues can unite. This refers to the purple area of the map. On the other side, the upper left is about sheer pragmatism – “Yeah! It’s a long way from perfect but what’re you gonna do?” – while the lower left corner is cautious hope – “OK. I can work with this but …”

What about those happy about a hung parliament but unhappy about the DUP deal?

Happy with hung Parliament but Unhappy with DUP deal.

This is only 6% of those surveyed but really pulls apart the unholy alliance of Golden Dreamers and Transcenders that is visible in the “happy about a hung parliament” question on its own. The absence of Golden Dreamers (top left) is a reflection of their drive for power at almost any cost. Meanwhile, the emphasis in the lower right – Transcenders (index 223) and Concerned ethical (index 161) – indicates a clear ethical revulsion for the Conservatives’ partner of choice. Ironically, this is a close reflection of those who, in their hearts, feel closest affinity with the Conservatives’ former partners in government – the Liberal Democrats.

Declared most affinity with the Liberal Democrat Party.

Finally, what about those who are happy about a hung parliament AND happy about the DUP deal?

Happy with hung Parliament AND happy with DUP deal.

Sure enough, this is the other side of the coin – the Golden Dreamers. Only 4% of those surveyed though. Perhaps most interesting is the fact that 68% of this group voted “Remain” in the EU Referendum. This suggests that they are mischievously happy about weakening the Brexiteers’ grip on power while simultaneously happy that “power” has been stabilised to some extent. By and large, this group is bloke-ish (68/32), young to early middle age (66% aged 25-44) and better off.

So, what does all this add up to?

Most obviously, there is little taste for a hung parliament, especially amongst Settlers, for whom “strong and stable” resonates with their deep emotional need for safety and security, while any form of uncertainty or weakness in “authority” jars violently.

Since we all have a Settler within us – even if we’re Prospectors or Pioneers – these same concerns are certainly extended throughout the population. The Settlers here serve to give us an insight into the whole population.

Those who declared themselves happy about a hung parliament clearly fell into two camps – mischievous Remainers and ethical revolutionaries.

Also very obvious is that there is general disquiet about the Government’s deal with the DUP. The bulk of those declaring themselves unhappy with the deal are from Values orientations that prize morals/ethics and fairness – collectivists rather than individualists.

All in all, the 2017 General Election has produced an outcome that’s distasteful to most people in one way or another. Far from supplying strength and stability, it has really only served to point up, once again, the deep Values-based divisions in British society.