SPECIAL FEATURE – Football vs The Election: Which Does Britain Care About the Most?

The 2015 UK general election takes place on 7th May. But with low voter turnout over the last decade, I began to wonder how the nation’s interest in the election compares with our famous obsession with football?

Do the latest transfer rumours and team news trump the election campaign speeches and opinion polls? Do we still turn to the back pages (or their digital equivalent) before checking in on the day’s political reports?

With a Prime Minister who can’t even remember which team he has previously claimed to support and a pervasive distrust in politicians generally, it’s intriguing to wonder what’s really more important to British people.

I thought it would be fun to explore this question further, so I ran an independent poll of just over 1,000 people from across the UK asking “Which of the following do you care more about – football or the general election?(Poll by Toluna – raw data available on request).

33% of respondents said they care more about football; 67% said they care more about the election.

football vs election main

This seemingly means that for 3 in 10 people, following the beautiful game is more important than choosing who runs the country for the next 5 years.

[bctt tweet=”3 in 10 people care more about #football than the #election”]

Breaking the results down by gender shows that 45% of males are more bothered about football than voting, whereas only 24% of females expressed this preference.

results by gender

Age also seems to have an influence on how people’s priorities stack up – the 18-34 group were most likely to pick football over politics, whilst the 55+ group were most likely to put the election first.

results by age

I have also pulled some data from Google Trends for a bit more insight into how UK search interest in football vs the election over the last 12 months compares.

Premier League Odds vs Election Odds

Football News vs General Election

I’m not quite sure what to take away from all this, or exactly what I was expecting the results to look like – I’ll let you draw your own conclusions about the state of British democracy, but for the record, I’ll be exercising my right to vote, and if you’re eligible, I hope you will be too.