12 April 2019

Free Exchange: Will Tanner on the generation gap


We spend an awful lot of time worrying about the political weather. But behind the day-to-day drama, the political climate is changing too — and in fundamental ways.

One of the biggest shifts in recent years is the widening generational gap. There have always been differences between younger and older voters, but they are getting harder and harder to ignore. In fact, age – not class or income – is now the best predictor of how someone will vote.

The younger you are, the less likely you are to vote Tory. And that problem for the right appears to be getting worse. So if you want to understand the challenges the Conservative Party face, tackling the generational aspect of modern politics is unavoidable.

On Monday, Onward, a centre-right think tank, published the latest set of polling on the Conservatives’ generational woes. For this week’s episode of Free Exchange I spoke to Will Tanner, director of Onward and former adviser to Theresa May, about what is driving Britain’s widening age gap, and what the Conservative Party should do about it.

You can listen to the full episode here, or subscribe via iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Oliver Wiseman is Editor of CapX.