By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies to enhance your experience.


Future elections expected to be influenced powerfully by private renters

Recent changes in legislation, as part of government policy to encourage first-time buyers and owner-occupier purchases, have led to a tax assault on private  landlords, which some people, including many landlords, believe is primarily a cheap political tactic to win over the renter vote.

Think tank Onward, run by Will Tanner, a former deputy head of policy to Theresa May, recently forecast that the Conservatives will lose the next election because of the growth of generation rent, unless it reverses declining levels of home ownership or improves conditions for renters.

The government’s latest plans to implement a three-year tenancy model to give renters more security, for example, looks like a ‘political move’, according to some experts.


Richard Lambert, chief executive of the National Landlords Association, said: “This [proposal for longer tenancies] is a policy which the Conservatives derided when it was put forward by their opponents in the past two general election campaigns.

“It’s hard not to see this as more of a political move aimed at the renter vote than a genuine effort to improve how the rented market works for all those involved.”

New research from AXA Insurance shows that future elections are set to be influenced much more powerfully by the UK’s growing contingent of private renters than ever before.

The study found that while 53% of private renters voted in 2017 – a noticeable jump on previous elections that would rise further to a 69% turnout if a snap election were called this year, owed in part to financial anxiety amongst renters.

Some 72% of private renters suffer from financial anxiety, with the single biggest trigger being the inability to save for a deposit for their own home.

As of this August, the average amount someone renting privately can save is £102 per month; a quarter of renters say they can’t save anything.

The research suggests that measures, such as rent controls, that help tenants keep more money in their own pockets are likely to have the biggest resonance at the ballot boxes in the future.

But somewhat condemningly, the study also revealed yawning gaps in awareness among tenants of new legislation on energy efficiency and conditions in rental properties – despite evidence that these regulations are significantly driving up standards.

Gareth Howell, executive managing director at AXA Insurance, said: “We’ve recently seen a flurry of legislation aimed at the private rental market. Landlords are responding to it, as our research over the past four years shows rapid improvements in energy efficiency and some raising of safety standards.

“Our research over the past two years shows a very low awareness among tenants of this legislation and their new rights.

“Few are interested in punishing landlords, but do need mechanisms for building their own assets. Tenants are set to be an increasingly powerful voice in our society, making finding innovative financial solutions a political imperative in future years.”

Want to comment on this story? If so...if any post is considered to victimise, harass, degrade or intimidate an individual or group of individuals on any basis, then the post may be deleted and the individual immediately banned from posting in future.

Poll: Could renters redraw Britain’s political map?


  • icon

    Vindicates what many have said in earlier posts. Screw the Landlord and win the tenants' vote. Only problem is many tenants don't bother to go on the voters' roll or drag themselves along to the polling station. Build more properties and everyone wins!


    It's probably surprising how many people in private rented (students especially) do vote, I recall conservative seats being lost in university towns in the last election and that being attributed to student voters.
    As you've said though, if the government were able to ensure enough new homes were being built they probably wouldn't need to give landlords such as a hard time whilst keeping everyone else happy.

  •  G romit

    "...government ........give landlords such as a hard time ...." => fewer Landlords => fewer rental properties => higher rents => renters finding even harder to save for a deposit & higher homelessness.

    Gun - foot - shoot springs to mind.

    James B

    Correct but carefully hidden behind propaganda to ensure tenants think it’s all helping them so let’s all vote conservative .. the policies hurt both landlords and tenants

  • icon

    Surely tenants are using social media and other electronic means of communication and see that whoever they vote for can seriously damage their future ability to save for that deposit that so many say is unattainable.

    It seems to me that everyone is treating renters and students as brain dead fools. Be careful what you wish for. In particulars students are our future.

    If they vote conservative they will shoot themselves in the foot says one side. Vote for the other side and shoot themselves in the foot says the other. It appears to be a lose-lose situation that all you idiots are promoting - unless of course you know otherwise!


    Your calling us "idiots" tends to suggest you have not yet matured! Having rented to students for over 20 years, raised 3 former student offspring and been one myself, my experience is that any credit you give them for common sense is usually unwarranted. Only once they learn to study at the University of Life do they usually merit being treated like adults. All political parties know this and so will try to bribe them, Labour by promises to abolsh tuition fees and write off loans, Tories by pretending to help them with cheaper rents and help to buy schemes. The Banks have also been conning them with freebies for years. I hope you'll soon be mature enough able to understand and absorb this valuable information.


Please login to comment

MovePal MovePal MovePal
sign up