8 October 2019

Free Exchange: Doomed by demographics?


Are the Conservatives doomed by demographics? With younger and BME voters rejecting the party, what can the Tories do to turn things around and put together an election-winning coalition, not just for the upcoming poll, but for the many to come in the future?

That was the question facing the panel for our CapX live debate at the Tory conference in Manchester last week.

I invited Conservative activists Elena Bunbury and Resham Kotecha along with polling supremo Joe Twyman to chat about the challenge ahead, the perils of tokenism, and how the party can truly offer something for everyone.


The point at which you move from being a Labour to a Conservative voter is now 47

19% of the youngest voters in the last election voted Conservative. 19% of the oldest voters in the electorate voted Labour.

Age could be a time bomb for the Conservatives but we don’t know how that will play out.


We don’t know how voter movement is working nowadays, in the same way that the Godfathers of political science didn’t know how things were working in the 1960s and 70s.

We need to ask whether changes are talking points or turning points, and what causes them?

on…BME voters

Conservatives have been far more successful recruiting voters from the South Asian community than any other ethnic minority group

It doesn’t matter if we say we want to support X or Y community, if they don’t believe that, if the perception is that we don’t really want to deliver then the Conservative Party are going to be fighting an uphill battle

Once the BME population of a constituency reaches 30% it becomes much harder for the Conservatives to win it.

on…young women

Only 8% of young women say they will vote Conservative. That has to change.

John Ashmore is the Acting Editor of CapX