Saturday, January 23, 2010

Motorway Man?

Mondeo man, the target voter of Labour’s rise to power in 1997, has evolved, so everyone prepare to meet..... Motorway Man.

The FT is reporting that party pollsters and the parties themselves are turning towards new housing estate around the M61, M6 and M1 in the search for swing voters that will win them the next election.

According to the FT Motorway man is a materialistic and car dependent middle manager, perhaps a salesman, production manager or senior rep. According to the FT’s helpful graphic reproduced below Motorway man doesn’t have super powers, and isn’t able to clear an M25 jam in a single bound, but instead has:
  • 2 cars, typically one of which is a people carrier;
  • Lives on a new housing estate with easy access to the motorway network;
  • Aspires to livign in a detached house with a conservatory and double garage;
  • Loves the web and has several computers;
  • Subscribes to TV channels;
  • Plays golf, visits the gym, plays football or jogs ;
  • Takes the car out of town to shop visiting a mall with a multiplex or bowling alley;
  • Has a working wife although they have a close knit family with 2 or 3 children in state schools;
  • Takes several family holidays a year.
Don’t you all want to be just like Motorway man too?

Apparently much of this swing votering (it’s a word, I just made it up, but it’s a word) comes from the fact that many new housing estates are on “infill” areas where abandoned mines have been replaced by housing. What was once surrounded by a strong local communities and former pit villages is now a housing estate full of independently thinking people. The FT quotes Peter Hain as saying “The classic thing is where your mum and dad lived in a solid Labour town, but you move into one of the suburbs, a new housing estate, and you start to think a little differently about yourself.”

Of course Motorway Man is just one of a long line of alliteratively named people so it’s nice to see the pollsters and psychologists keping up the trend. Some of you may remember the Pebbledash People, Worcester Woman and of course Mondeo Man. You’re less likely to remember the non alliterative ones though, anyone remember Asda Mums, Schoolgate Mums or Sierra Man? Thought not.

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