The Conservative Party is dying – literally

“Younger and older generations have always been politically different, but never by this much. The generational schism exposed at the last General Election was unprecedented. The gap between the youngest and oldest voters was three times the post-war average – a fifty percentage point increase on the median gap since 1945. Age, rather than class or income, is now the best predictor of vote intention.

This report confirms that age polarisation is not only here to stay but that
the gap between younger and older generations is growing. The Conservative vote is ageing at a faster rate than the general population, largely due to the party’s failure to convert large numbers of young potential voters. It is an extraordinary finding that 83% of Conservative voters are now over the age of 45. Just 4% are under the age of 24 years old.

Meanwhile, Labour’s reliance on younger voters is growing. A sizeable proportion of older voters will now not even consider voting Labour, imposing a hard electoral ceiling and threatening the party longer-term as the population ages. In terms of composition, however, Labour remains much more generationally balanced: 53% of Labour voters are over the age of 45 and 47% under the age of 45.

The net result of these trends is that the “tipping point age” – the median age at which a voter is more likely to be Conservative than Labour – is now 51 years old, up from 47 at the 2017 General Election. Before the 2017 campaign, the tipping point was 34 years old.”

This is an extract from the summary of a report entitled “Generation Why?” published this week by the Conservative think-tank Onward. You can read the full report here.


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