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WSTA poll claims cutting wine duty could help swing the election

Published:  13 March, 2015

Cutting duty on wine might swing the election, a new poll has claimed.

The poll, undertaken by YouGov for the Wine and Sprit Trade Association, found that wine is the most popular drink among voters across the three main political parties, with around 60% of the British public identifing themselves as wine drinkers.

It claimed that cutting the duty for wine by 2% in the Budget could play a part in the forthcoming election, by appealing to core Tory voters, as well as Liberal Democrats.

Results showed two thirds of respondents (69%) who identified themselves as Tory voters, and nearly three quarter (72%) of Liberal Democrat voters drank wine regularly, nearly 20% more than other drinks categories. Wine was also the most popular drink among key electoral demographics, with nearly two third of women, (64%) nominating it as their drink of choice, and the same number in the over 55s (64%).

More than half of undecideds (54%) were regular wine drinkers, with 55% of Labour supporters also nominating wine as their favourite drink, above beer (49%), spirits (45%) and cider (30%).

Miles Beale, chief executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, said the poll demonstrated that wine had the potential to play a "defining role" in the election on 7 May.

"With wine the drink of choice amongst voters from all political parties, as well as those still undecided about where to cast their vote, it is important that parties take our industry seriously," he said.

"This is particularly important for George Osborne to remember as he looks to deliver his Budget in less than a week's time. With the bulk of his own supporters as well as crucial undecided voters preferring wine over any other alcoholic drink, choosing to cut duty on wine seems like a politically attractive decision for him to make".

The WSTA has spearheaded the Drop The Duty! Campaign calling on the Chancellor to introduce a 2% cut in alcohol duty in next week's Budget. It says a modest cut would allow the industry to expand without shrinking the Treasury's budget, with some independent research suggesting a cut would enable the Chancellor to reduce the deficit faster because it would increase the contribution to the public finances by over £1bn in 2015.