What effects do a political candidate’s football support have on their popularity?

Football, being one of the UK’s national sports, is obviously extremely popular, and so people are very passionate about it. Since people are very passionate, a constituent’s support of a football team could probably affect who they vote for. This article will go through factors like rivalries to determine the answer to this question.

First of all, you may get a vote from people who are not interested in politics or those who do not know who to vote for. For example, if you live in the constituency of Lewisham Deptford, and your conservative candidate supports Millwall Football Club, and you support Millwall as well, you might be inclined to vote for them if you don’t know who to vote for. This is also true the other way round: if your candidate supports a football club nowhere near you, then you might be inclined not to vote for them because they are less connected to the local community and passionate about the area.

Secondly, football rivalries can come into play as well. For example, if you live in Lewisham Deptford, and your local candidate supports Charlton Athletic Football Club, you might dislike the person, even if you like the party (Millwall and Charlton are rivals.) This is a particularly interesting example because of Millwall and Charlton close proximity to each other, meaning that it would not be uncommon for a candidate for Greenwich & Woolich to support Millwall, or a candidate for Lewisham Deptford to support Charlton.

So, let’s say you’re a political candidate and you support Charlton Athletic, but you’ve lived in Lewisham your whole life. Should you choose to run in Greenwich, and risk a disconnection to the local area, but gain a football-based popularity, or should you run in Lewisham, and have a strong connection to the community, but loose football-based vote. It really depends on the pettiness of your constituents. If they generally think you would be a worse MP because of who you support, then maybe you shouldn’t run there, but in the end you just have to hope that they care more about your politics, than your favorite team.