* 67.5% of working class women say yes to affair with upper class man

* Only 40.7% of middle class women want an upper class man for a fling

* 83.1% of middle class men want to cheat with a working class woman

A new poll by the married dating site, AshleyMadison.com, shows that when it comes to an extra marital fling, working class women are still looking for a Mr Darcy – an upper class man. 67% of women Ashley Madison members who describe themselves as working class say they are looking to the upper class for an affair partner.

‘This is a reflection of economic hard times as much as confirmation of traditional class stereotypes,’ comments Noel Biderman, Ashley Madison founder and CEO. ‘The working class has been hit harder by the recession than any other sector of society. For women who are struggling financially – such as healthcare workers like many of our members – a fling with an upper class man represents glamour and escape, a holiday from daily life, perhaps an element of security.’

By contrast, only 40.7% of the middle class women on the site would like an affair with an upper class man, 53.6% specifically preferring to stick to the middle class.

Laurence Olivier as Mr Darcy

Laurence Olivier as Mr Darcy (PD)

‘Middle class women are more likely to be financially independent and better educated, their needs are different. They want intimacy and shared experience with an equal rather than to be swept off their feet, Jane Austen style.’

It’s a different story for men. 83.1% of middle class Ashley Madison male members say they want to cheat with a working class woman, 51.8% of upper class men are looking for a middle class woman and 42.4% of upper class men want a working class woman for an affair.

‘Despite the changing socio-economic landscape men across the board still want to be the Alpha partner in a relationship’, says Biderman. ‘Men want someone to admire and look up to them, someone they can impress because fundamentally most men lack confidence.’

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