Mind The Gap

The dust has just about settled on the fallout of the recent General Election where once again, London demonstrated that it thinks and acts just a little bit differently from the rest of Great Britain. Using Route data we’ve dug into the numbers to analyse where there are gaps in behaviours between London and the average Briton.

Recent voting has shown London to be more socially democratic than the rest of the country. Evidence of this was seen in the General Election where 33% of Londoners voted conservative compared to 55% voting Labour. London’s voting in a different direction to the rest of GB is a pattern we’ve seen before of course. In the EU referendum (Brexit) vote, 60% of London voters opted to remain in the EU compared to 47% of the rest of GB.

So what more can the Route dataset tell us about Londoners? Our analysis found that:

  1. London is a little younger than the rest of GB (34% under 35 vs 26% for rest of GB)
  2. London is more ethnically diverse than the rest of GB (46% BME vs 7% for rest of GB)
  3. Londoners are more likely to be ABC1 (66% ABC1 vs 58% for rest of GB)
  4. Londoners are less likely to own their home and instead live in private rentals (22% are private renters vs 13% for rest of GB
  5. London is more likely to be better educated (45% were in full time education until at least the age of 21 compared to 23% for the rest of GB)

Each of these factors were specifically identified by Ipsos in their recent How Britain Voted study as being key attributes in Labour voting tendencies.

What we also uncovered was that London’s relationship with its local environment is a little different too. Londoners are much less reliant on cars than the rest of the country. Instead, they are more likely to travel by public transport. Proportionately, fewer Londoners hold a driving licence than the average (67% vs 79% for GB) and among those who do, they are less likely to own or have continuous access to a car (80% vs 95% of those with a licence).  Even those who do have a car, drive it less than elsewhere in the country. Route’s passive measurement shows that on average Londoners travel 80 miles per week in a vehicle compared to 141.5 miles per week for the rest of GB.

While, at the same time, public transport use in the capital is much higher with 61% of Londoners using a bus at least once a week (22% for the rest of GB) and 27% using a train on a weekly basis (5% for the rest of GB) and then there is also the tube network to add to these figures for Londoners (47% of Londoners use the tube weekly).

With all that is available on their doorstep, it’s perhaps no great surprise that Londoners spend more time in a geographically concentrated area. Or put another way, they travel less distance in an average week (117 miles) than those outside the capital (181 miles).

But what of London’s media habits? Taking a brief step outside of Route data and into those of the other joint industry currencies, we see different media consumption patterns occurring in London and outside. Londoners are lighter consumers of traditional media. BARB data shows that London watches less TV in an average day than the rest of GB. RAJAR shows them listening to less radio in an average week and AMP (nee NRS) demonstrates that Londoners are less likely to be a regular readers of popular national newspapers, particularly on a Sunday and instead are more likely to favour the qualities than the average Briton.

Where do outdoor ads fit into the lives of Londoners? We can determine from the Route dataset that audiences in London happen across more out of home advertising than other areas of the country. On average, Londoners will see 181 OOH ads in a day and spend 32 minutes under the influence of OOH advertising. This compares with 72 frames and 16 minutes under the influence of OOH ads for the average Briton. To be under the influence of advertising a person needs to be within the visibility area of an outdoor ad and be walking past it / towards it, in other words it needs to be visible to them and they need to be able to see it.

Taking this all into consideration, we can see that as well as being a little politically different, London also differs from the rest of GB in terms of its demographic makeup, its transport use, its media habits and its relationship with the local environment. All of which is a timely reminder that from a planning and advertising perspective of the need to “Mind the Gap” and be aware that what works in the cosy warm embrace of a London media filter bubble, may benefit from local treatments outside the capital too.


Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-2017-40176349
Source: http://www.standard.co.uk/news/politics/general-election-2017-live-results-constituency-by-constituency-as-they-come-in-a3560616.html
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Results_of_the_United_Kingdom_European_Union_membership_referendum,_2016
Source: https://www.ipsos.com/ipsos-mori/en-uk/how-britain-voted-2017-election?language_content_entity=en-uk
Source: http://www.barb.co.uk/tv-landscape-reports/isles-of-television-wonder/

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