A MAJORITY across every generation, ethnic group and even Remain supporters want to reduce immigration, a mass survey voters has found.
Findings by the new Tory think tank Onward revealed majority backing for controlling numbers even among 18-24 year-olds – who back it by 38 to 36 per cent.
A survey from a Tory think thank showed a majority across very generation and ethnic group want to reduce immigration[/caption]
An even higher proportion of Remainers back cutting immigration – with 40 per cent in support and 34 per cent against – the same numbers among Asian voters.
But in a finding that will deliver shock-waves through the Tory party, Labour currently enjoys an eight-point lead on immigration among all age-groups.
Jeremy Corbyn’s party also leads on other traditional Conservative issues such as crime (21 points) and tax (28 points).
On Brexit Labour has a marginal 1.1 per cent lead. Only on defence and the economy do the Tories still lead, according to the lengthy polling by Onward.
But even on the economy the Tories lead by just 0.1 per cent.
APPEALING TO YOUNG VOTERS
The think tank urges the party to swing its policies back to the centre-ground – saying its findings show that up to three million young voters under the age of 35 are considering voting Tory in the future but only if its policies change.
Onward has set out a ten-point plan that proposes the Tories appeal to young voters with policies such as keeping taxes low, punishing rogue companies, controlling immigration, winning votes from ethnic minority groups and protecting the environment.
The findings were backed by 42 Tory MPs, including a raft of Tory leadership hopefuls.
Aid Secretary and Brexit campaigner Penny Mordaunt, one of the contenders to replace Theresa May, said: “The polling shows the need to have a broader discussion about the values our nation stands for and the future direction of the country, rather than simply focusing on arbitrary targets.
“Although people generally want immigration reduced, they also value the benefits it brings. And if people are coming here, we should enable them to contribute fully to society.
Everyone is focusing on Brexit, but the growing age gap in vote intention is a bigger threat to the Conservative Party’s future.
Will Tanner, Onward's director
“That is one of the reasons why I shifted funding into English language teaching for some of the 500,000 women in the UK who have little or no English.“
Only 16 per cent of under-35s said they would currently vote for the Tories, according to the study by centre-right think tank Onward.
Just 17 per cent of Tory voters are aged under 45 and only 4 per cent are under 25, with the age at which people become more likely to vote Conservative than Labour now 51.
At the time of the 2017 election the “tipping point” age was 47 – and before Mrs May’s ill-fated campaign it was 34, the Generation Why? report said.
The report calls for policies targeted at young women – with polling showing that just 8 per cent of 18-24-year-olds would vote Tory.
Onward’s director Will Tanner, a former aide to Mrs May, said: “Everyone is focusing on Brexit, but the growing age gap in vote intention is a bigger threat to the Conservative Party’s future.
“The only way to regain a majority is to focus on winning over a younger generation of voters – if the
Conservatives do not, they risk being pushed to the sidelines, unable to govern.
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“But there is hope, with our report showing that there are three million young undecided voters who would consider voting for the party.”
A joint statement by 40 Tory MPs from the 2015 and 2017 intakes said: “The next Conservative manifesto must have strong policies to help young people get on in life. It must reach out to all parts of the country and all communities too.
“The Conservative party is at its best when it is a party for the whole nation.”
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