In the run-up to every election, newspapers fill with articles about the handful of voters that will supposedly swing the result – ‘soccer moms’, ‘NASCAR dads’, ‘Worcester women’, even ‘pebbledash people’. Occasionally this analysis is useful. Normally it is not. In the past six UK elections, 84 per cent of demographic groups swung in the same way as the population as a whole.
A common trick to make a target group sound like it's worth focusing on is to highlight what is distinctive about them, at the expense of what is important. For example, Guardian readers are more likely to be Labour voters (73 per cent voted Labour in 2017) than Mail readers (17 per cent). But the Mail sells nine times as many copies as the Guardian, more than enough to compensate for the difference.