Lottery Winners Switch to Support the Conservatives

Posted: February 13, 2014

Updated: October 4, 2017

You’re buying that red Ferrari if you win the lottery, right? Well, most people in Britain start to support the Conservatives after winning.

A recent study revealed that receiving an unexpected fortune actually makes UK citizens like the Conservatives party over Labour. The study was carried out as collaboration between Australian and British scientists.

According to the research, 18% of winners in the lotteries held under British gambling laws, went to support the Conservative Party even if they sympathized with the Labour Party or had no affiliations whatsoever.

New source of Conservatives support

The Conservatives are in power right now, and their current agenda is on tax breaks and middle-class welfare, which seems to be the path to voters’ hearts and ballots. However, the study on lottery winners show, that the party decision makers should look to the winners for more support.

The results of the study revealed to British gambling news, that after a sudden windfall, people become less egalitarian and concern themselves less with growing challenges of people with low income.

The study of lottery winners

Lottery winners are likely to support the Conservatives

• Recent research in Australia and Britain looked at over 4,000 lottery winners
• Winning under British gambling laws leads to people supporting Conservative Party
• Australian data for the study is still being collected

The joint Australian-British research looked at over 4,000 British citizens, winning up to GBP 200,000 in the National Lottery. Naturally, most of these wins were pretty small, with only 541 people grabbing over GBP 500. These wins are nothing compared to what is up for grabs at online casinos in the United Kingdom.

In fact, there were over 11,000 observations during the study, because a large proportion of the winners have won more than once. However, even among those with smaller wins, there was a clear tendency to switch from Labour to the rightwing.

Moreover, existing Conservative Party supporters who managed to win the lottery remained with the party and their support had even strengthened. 18% of winners immediately went on to switch to the Conservatives.

Over 45% of punters winning over GBP 500 replied to the researchers that they supported rightwing political parties. And only 38% of those who didn’t win anything were showing support for the same persuasion.

Additionally, the research found out that the bigger was the win – the higher was the percentage of winners switching to the Conservatives side. Also, men were more common switchers than women.

Reaction of the researchers

The study was carried out by the University of Warwick and the University of Melbourne. The scientists opined that this kind of study cannot be 100% accurate, due to unpredicted biases and personality traits of the winners. One thing for sure: over half of British population plays lottery regularly, making such a study feasible and a good source of information.

The similar data for Australia is still being collected. Professor Nattavudh Powdthavee, one of the researchers at the University of Melbourne, told the press that the main idea behind the study was to find out if political affiliation is driven by ethical views or self-interest.

He opined: “The amount won in the lottery is completely randomised but we saw that the more you win, the more right-leaning you become. You are more likely to favour rightwing ideas, such as lower taxation, and are less favourable to redistributive policies.”

Powdthavee went on to add: “The change was instant following the lottery win. We could track it from year to year and saw there was almost no lag time, particularly if there was a large win over GBP 500.”

Other similar studies

The current research is said to be the first of its kind, however, it actually quotes a recent US study, which was looking at how hostile lottery winners are towards some taxes.

Another American research from 2012 was carried out at Berkley University and concluded that people tend to become less companionate the richer they get. Among other findings there were conclusions that luxury car owners were more probable to cut off other traffic participants.

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