Rent control could swing the vote in Scotland

Feb 02, 2015 12:18 PM

The outcome of the General Election looks increasingly likely to be determined by the party who wins most seats in Scotland: Labour or the Scottish Nationalists. Some new polling from Survation suggests that a rent control policy could be the deciding factor.

When asked what effect a political party proposing rent control in their manifesto would have on voting intentions at the May General Election, 25% of Scots said it would make them more likely to vote for that party.  Only 5% say they would be less likely to vote for a party that offered rent control.

Rent control is particularly popular among supporters of both main parties – 27% of Labour voters and 26% of SNP voters say rent control would make them more likely to vote for a party that offered it. It is also popular among people who voted Yes in the independence referendum (27%) and people who voted Lib Dem at the 2010 election (34%) – voters that both Labour and the SNP are trying to win over.

Renting is a swing issue: there are votes to be won in promising to cut costs for renters and very few to lose. If Labour adopted rent control they could avoid meltdown in Scotland, putting them back in the game in Westminster.