Survey of past lottery winners shows that the richer you get, the more likely you are to vote Conservative

45 per cent of people who won £500 or more switched to supporting right-wing parties

Political Correspondent

Boris Johnson once claimed that voting Tory increases your chances of owning a BMW and would lead to breast enlargement for the missus. Polls last year suggested the Conservative Party was still viewed as the domain of the rich. Now a survey of lottery winners has suggested Boris and the pollsters could be right – the more you win the more Tory you’ll become.

A joint UK-Australia study of the voting preferences of lottery winners has found that while a windfall of lotto cash could lead to a dream home, a luxury yacht, a Mediterranean villa and a side-order of catwalk models, a switch in political allegiance to right-wing parties was also likely.

The research, conducted jointly by the universities of Warwick and Melbourne, included analysis of 4,000 British citizens who won up to £200,000 on the national lottery.

Even among those who missed out on big number prizes, winning little was shown to be enough to produce a lurch to the right.

The Warwick-Melbourne research, which included data from household panel surveys taken between 1996 to 2009, found a trend of winners switching their support from Labour to the Tories.

So although TV lottery shows are still far from being classified as a  party political broadcast, Ed Miliband and Labour will be relieved a national prize draw isn’t yet a daily event.

The survey found that a swing to the right was more pronounced for those who won substantial life-changing amounts. But 45 percent who won more than £500 said they subsequently supported right-wing parties.

For David Cameron the lottery research will be received with a smile. It showed that existing Conservative voters who won some cash, simply saw the windfall as strengthening their Tory blue credentials.

The ideological switch from the left to right, following the arrival of the big cheque, was also found to be rapid. The survey said that nearly 18 percent of all winners immediately switched their support to the Tories.

Last year a ComRes survey for the Independent found that the Conservative Party was still seen as representing the interests of the rich. The ComRes findings were published shortly after the Tory planning minister, Nick Boles, warned that the “single biggest problem” facing his party was the traditional view that it still represented the wealthy.

While the London mayor’s comments on BMWs and breast enlargement may be dismissed as meaningless Boris banter, the former Tory MP and chick-lit author, Louise Mensch, said it was “pathetic caricaturing” to believe in the standard stereotype that “every Tory was in it for themselves".

Professor Nattavudh Powdthavee from Melbourne, one of the report’s co-authors, said it was not yet clear if the change in political ideology was being driven by deeply held ethical views, or simply by self-interest. He said: “The amount won in the lottery is completely randomised, but we saw that the more you won, the more right-leaning you become.”

According to the professor, the author of a book called The Happiness Equation, this pointed to winners favouring right-wing ideas such as lower taxation and less redistributive policy ideas.

Not all winners of big lottery prizes however fit the survey’s right-leaning predictions.

In 2011, Christine and Colin Weir, a former STV cameraman and a former psychiatric nurse, scooped a record £161m jackpot on the EuroMillions lottery. The Scottish couple immediately handed a cheque for £1m to a political party – the SNP. 

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
News
people
News
Jamie and Emily Pharro discovering their friend's prank
video
News
i100
Life and Style
food + drink
News
Tim Vine has won the funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Festival 2014
peopleTim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
News
people
Life and Style
techApp to start sending headlines, TV clips and ads to your phone
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift crawls through the legs of twerking dancers in her 'Shake It Off' music video
musicEarl Sweatshirt thinks so
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan in What If
filmReview: Actor swaps Harry Potter for Cary Grant in What If
News
Our resilience to stress is to a large extent determined by our genes
science
Travel
travel
Sport
sportBesiktas 0 Arsenal 0: Champions League qualifying first-leg match ends in stalemate in Istanbul
News
Pornography is more accessible - and harder to avoid - than ever
news... but they still admit watching it
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Project Manager (App development, SAP, interfacing)

£50000 - £60000 Per Annum + excellent company benefits: Clearwater People Solu...

Systems Developer Technical Lead

£65000 - £70000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based i...

Energy Engineer

£25000 - £30000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Energy En...

Techincal Accountant-Insurance-Bank-£550/day

£475 - £550 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Senior Technical Accountant-Insuran...

Day In a Page

Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment