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11th Jul 2022

‘This is how we ended up with Johnson’: Tory member demographics revealed ahead of key ballot

Jack Peat

Spoiler: They are predominantly male, over 50 and from the south of England… 

The demographics of Tory Party members have been revealed ahead of the upcoming crunch vote to elect the next Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

Penny Mordaunt became the latest candidate to put her name forward on Sunday, releasing a campaign video that had to be hastily edited after several identifiable figures asked to be removed from the promotional clip.

Grant Shapps has called on voters to “Back Shapps”, while Tom Tugendhat, Nadhim Zahawi, Suella Braverman and Jeremy Hunt also put their names within the early runners and riders.

Former Chancellor Rishi Sunak is the early favourite, although his campaign has been slightly derailed after his ‘man of the people’ persona took a hit after a 2007 docu-series filmed by the BBC resurfaced.

Conservative MPs will move to whittle the list of candidates down to two people before the party’s near 200,000 members vote on who will become the next Prime Minister.

Research from Queen Mary University of London conducted ahead of the 2019 leadership contest painted a picture of which demographics make up the member’s list, and it makes for depressing reading.

Around 71 per cent of members are male, the largest proportion of the three major parties, the research shows.

At 57, the Conservative membership base is also the oldest – albeit just a few years older than a Labour member – and some 54 per cent live in London or the south.

The majority of Conservative members are less liberal than other parties, according to the peer-reviewed research, which shows they believe in the death penalty, are against gay marriage and think that schools should teach children to obey authority.

Some 44 per cent agreed that censorship can help uphold moral standards.

They also strongly believe in Britain’s divorce from the European Union.

At the time of the research in the aftermath of the last election, just a quarter of members believed Britain should be part of the customs union or single market.

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