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New poll finds Labour voters more aligned with Tory position on sex and gender

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A new survey commissioned by human-rights charity Sex Matters has found that Labour voters are more aligned with Tory policies on sex and gender than with their own party’s position. 

The poll found that 48% of those who voted Labour in the 2019 election support the Conservative party’s manifesto pledge to amend the Equality Act to protect single-sex services, while just 20% oppose it. More Labour voters reject than support Labour’s manifesto proposal to amend the law to make it easier for people to change the sex on their birth certificates, with 40% opposing and 35% in support.

Overall, 57% of the population support the proposal to clarify that “male” and “female” in the Equality Act mean biological sex, with just 10% opposing. Labour and the Liberal Democrats plan to make it easier to change sex on birth certificates, which 53% of the population oppose and just 20% support.

Maya Forstater, CEO of Sex Matters, said: “This election campaign has proved that women’s sex-based rights can no longer be dismissed as a fringe issue. These results show firm support for policies that protect those rights.

“If parties putting themselves forward for government want to represent the mainstream, they should take serious note of the overwhelming support for sex-based rights across the political spectrum.”

The results also revealed that Gen Z (age 18–24) are more supportive of sex-based policies than Millennials (age 25–44), suggesting that support for gender-identity ideology among young people has passed its peak.

Both women and men are more supportive of the proposal to clarify the Equality Act than to make it easier to change sex on birth certificates, but men are more supportive of protection for sex-based rights than women overall. 

These findings of lack of support for legal sex change concur with the results of a survey earlier this month which found that levels of support for allowing people to change the sex on their birth certificate had fallen from 58% of the population in 2016 to just 24% in 2023. 

Another recent poll asking about the Labour Party’s pledge to simplify the process of “gender transition” – by removing the need for someone to prove they have lived in a different gender for two years and requiring only a single specialist doctor – was supported by only 24%, with 41% opposed.

Meanwhile, a new poll by More in Common found that the debate about “transgender people” was the only election issue where more people said it was talked about too much than too little, with 38% saying the issue is being talked about too much. The More in Common poll did not include questions about women’s rights or single-sex spaces.

Helen Joyce, director of advocacy at Sex Matters, said: “Putting these findings together, the message from voters is clear. People are sick of constantly hearing about bizarre and harmful policies based on the regressive idea of ‘gender identity’, and want an end to tedious debates that centre the tiny minority of people who deny the reality of biological sex and ignore the great majority. 

“Whichever party forms the next government needs to understand that the public strongly supports protections for sex-based rights, and is increasingly concerned about the legal falsification of records about people’s sex.What some politicians refer to as a ‘toxic debate’ will only end when they clarify laws and policies to centre the biological reality of sex and to reject invented notions of ‘gender identity’.”

Notes for editors

About the survey

Link to results. The survey was run by PeoplePolling (PP)  on 26th June 2024 with a sample size of 2,146. For more information on methodology please see the introduction to the poll results or contact [email protected] . PP is a member of the British Polling Council

Further resources

Sex Matters blog posts:

  • Comparison of the three main party manifestos on sex and gender (link)
  • Labour manifesto: waging culture war over women’s rights (link)
  • Conservative manifesto is serious about sex and gender (link)
  • Not a fair deal for women – the Lib Dem manifesto (link)
  • Stand Up For Single-Sex Services: campaign asks (link)
  • It’s time to make the Equality Act clear (link)

About Sex Matters

Sex Matters is a human-rights charity co-founded in 2021 by Maya Forstater, who is its CEO, to campaign for sex-based rights. It lobbies for clarity on sex in law and institutions; publishes research, guidance and analysis; supports and mobilises people to speak up; and holds organisations accountable.

About Maya Forstater

Maya Forstater is co-founder and CEO of Sex Matters. In 2019 she lost her job as a researcher with the European arm of American think-tank Center for Global Development, after tweeting and writing about sex and gender. She was the claimant in the landmark test case which established that the protected characteristic of belief in the Equality Act covers gender-critical beliefs. Her website is ​ and she tweets @MForstater.

About Helen Joyce

Helen Joyce is a journalist and author of Trans: When Ideology Meets Reality, an Amazon top ten bestseller, and Times of London and Spectator book of the year (recently reissued as Trans: Gender Identity and the New Battle for Women’s Rights). She was a staff journalist at The Economist between 2005 and 2022, holding several senior positions, including International editor, Finance editor and Britain editor. She is director of advocacy for Sex Matters. Her newsletter can be found at