New research revealing the most liked and disliked products in the eyes of people supporting the three main political parties suggests that Labour has an eclectic bunch of backers - perhaps an advantage for a party seeking the widest possible appeal as it tries to retain power.
Despite the arrival on the scene of David Cameron, Tories seem to be traditionalists who prefer the comfort zone of products they have known for decades. Liberal Democrats, when not running to the medicine cupboard, are more modern than Tories - they include mobile telephone and computer companies among their top 20 brands.
While Liberal Democrat voters like Tetley's tea, Tories name it as one of their least favourite products. Conversely, Liberal Democrats love Galaxy chocolate while the Tories dislike it.
The Liberal Democrats seem to have a sweet tooth: they also list Nutella and Sun Pat in their top 20 brands. Labour voters favour Cadbury's Flake and Aero but Tories are more ascetic, avoiding chocolate and allowing themselves only the luxury of an Onken dessert. Labour backers prefer Muller Fruit Corner while Liberal Democrats name Ski and Munch Bunch.
Tory and Labour supporters name Charles Kennedy's party as their least favourite brand, while Liberal Democrats dislike Labour more than the Conservative Party, suggesting there might yet be hope for a Con-Lib pact after the general election.
These feelings are reflected in people's choice of newspapers. Tories like the Daily Mail and The Mail on Sunday but hate The Sun and the Daily Mirror. Labour supporters like Rupert Murdoch's Sun and News of the World but dislike the Mail and its Sunday stablemate. Liberal Democrats name the News of the World and The Mail on Sunday among their least favourite.
The survey of 500 people was carried out by Young & Rubicam (Y&R) advertising agency, which studies preferences among 300 main UK brands for its clients using its BrandAsset Valuator research tool.
Jim Williams, the director of strategy for Y&R Europe, said: "The catholic tastes of Labour voters, ranging from traditional favourites like the News of the World to relatively new categories like Nivea for Men indicate that the party still has the broadest appeal across the population despite its reduced majority at the last election."
He added: "The Liberal Democrats show a great desire to be modern, for instance with a number of technology brands in their preferences. But the Tories are still very traditional with a pretty clear reluctance to bring themselves up to date.
"While there are many great brands among their preferences, the overall picture is of a group of people relying on past achievements rather than looking forward. As this type of person is by definition a shrinking rather than growing group, the findings must be rather worrying for the Conservative Party."
Y&R found that the products favoured by Tories tends to be along the lines of their generally accepted character, but the preferences of Labour voters contained some surprises. Their cloth-cap image persists with their liking of Carling and PG Tips, but they also enjoy playing with their Apple and Hewlett-Packard computers.
The agency says this supports the view that while Tories remain firmly rooted in tradition, Labour voters are the least homogeneous of the major political parties.
Political parties' brand favourites
* TORY SUPPORTERS' FAVOURITE BRANDS
1. Conservative Party (political parties)
2. The Daily Mail (newspapers)
3. Switch (credit/debit cards)
4. Sainsbury's (supermarkets)
5. Visa (credit/debit cards)
6. British Airways (airlines)
7. BP (petrol)
8. B&Q (DIY stores)
9. The Mail on Sunday (newspapers)
10. Parker Pens (pens)
11. Puma (footwear)
12. Crown (paint)
13. Maestro (credit/debit cards)
14. Nurofen (self-medication products)
15. Rennie (self-medication products)
16. Orange (mobile telephone networks)
17. Marks & Spencer (footwear)
18. Bosch (power tools)
19. Onken (yogurt and dairy desserts)
20. Dremel (power tools)
* LIB DEM SUPPORTERS' FAVOURITE BRANDS
1. Liberal Democrats (political parties)
2. Vauxhall (cars)
3. Energizer (batteries)
4. Ski (yogurt and dairy desserts)
5. Beechams Hot Lemon (self-medication products)
6. Munch Bunch (yogurt and dairy desserts)
7. Abbey (banks and building societies)
8. Wilkinson Sword (shaving products)
9. Nationwide (banks and building societies)
10. Galaxy (chocolate)
11. Tetleys (tea)
12. PSone (computer games consoles)
13. Nutella (jam, honey and peanut butter)
14. Vodafone (mobile telephone networks)
15. Vicks (self-medication products)
16. Xbox (computer games consoles)
17. Epson (computers)
18. Sun-Pat (peanut butter)
19. Calpol (self-medication products)
20. Axa (insurance companies)
* LABOUR SUPPORTERS' FAVOURITE BRANDS
1. Labour Party (political parties)
2. Lloyds TSB (banks and building societies)
3. Gillette (shaving products)
4. Timberland (footwear)
5. Sekonda (watches)
6. Cadbury Flake (chocolate)
7. Aero (chocolate)
8. Carling (beers)
9. News of the World (newspapers)
10. Kickers (footwear)
11. Apple (computers)
12. HP (Hewlett-Packard) (computers)
13. Brooke Bond (tea)
14. The Sun (newspapers)
15. Specsavers (opticians)
16. CAT (footwear)
17. Müller Fruit Corner (yogurt)
18. Nivea for Men (shaving products)
19. PG Tips (tea)
20. Rolex (watches)Reuse content