Last week I promoted a poll on this blog and through social media on people’s views on a variety of issues. One of those issues was ‘On a scale from 0-9, how in favour or against grouse shooting are you, where 0 is ‘very much against’ and 9 is ‘very much for’?’.
What I’ve done here is to contrast the responses to other questions in the survey from those who were ‘very much for grouse shooting’ (ticking 9, n=423 ) and those who were ‘very much against’ (ticking 0, n=1368)(leaving 507 who scored the question 1-8, and 98 who skipped the question). So the following comparisons are between those respondents who were keenest (Pro-DGS I will label them) and those least keen (Anti-DGS I will label them) on the subject of grouse shooting.
Pro-DGS are Conservative (85% where the choice is either Con or Lab)
Anti-DGS are Labour (86% where the choice is either Lab or Con)
Would you vote for Brexit?
Pro-DGS 69% Yes, 25% No
Anti-DGS 13%, Yes, 84% No
Is climate change happening?
Pro-DGS 45% Yes, 26% No
Anti-DGS 97% Yes, 0% No
Is climate change caused by our activities?
Pro-DGS 32% Yes, 43% No
Anti-DGS 94% Yes, 2% No
Will impacts of climate change on humankind be harmful?
Pro-DGS 41% Yes, 34% No
Anti-DGS 97% Yes, 1% No
Can we reduce impacts of climate change through our actions?
Pro-DGS 25% Yes, 43% No
Anti-DGS 78% Yes, 3% No
Are there too many birds of prey in the UK?
Pro-DGS 27% Yes, 34% No
Anti-DGS 2% Yes, 97% No
Are you keen on rewilding?
Pro-DGS 15% Yes, 64% No
Anti-DGS 94% Yes, 1% No
Do you object to or support badger cull?
Pro-DGS 10% Object, 80% Support
Anti-DGS 93% Object, 3% Support
Pro-DGS rsdspondents are more likely to be male (81% cf 63% of Anti-DGS respondents) and more likely to be younger than 50 years (52% cf 23% of Anti-DGS).
Make of that what you will. What I take from it is that to a rather remarkable extent, those who are Pro-DGS are more likely, indeed much more likely in this pool of responses, also to be Conservative-leaning voters, who are pro-Brexit, sceptical, unconcerned and unmotivated by climate change, against rewilding, in favour of the badger cull and think there are too many harmful raptors in the UK than are those most Anti-DGS. This is not very surprising as a general difference, but it did surprise me how massive the difference was. It’s almost as if strong feelings over grouse shooting are an indicator of completely differing world views on a range of issues. Maybe they are.
Has it always been so? I went back to the 2016 dataset and looked at the data in this same way and found that all the differences were in the same direction but they were rather less marked.
If you want to get rid of driven grouse shooting then it seems as though your supporters are likely to be Left-leaning individuals who want Remain and are worried about climate change, don’t want a Badger cull and are in favour of rewilding. People like me in fact. How cosy!