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Bright Blue, the independent think tank for liberal conservatism, has today published new polling analysis with YouGov of UK public attitudes towards the plight of and policies for younger adults. 

The polling reveals that the UK public are united in believing that younger adults find it much more difficult to get on in life than in recent decades, and that the best way for government to support them is through economic rather than cultural policies.

The key findings from the polling include:

  • The top two issues facing young people today in Britain are ‘Inflation and the cost of living’ (53%) and ‘Housing’ (41%), according to the UK public.
  • An overwhelming majority of the UK public, across different ages, believe that the policy plan that would be most appealing to younger voters is “Making homes cheaper for first time buyers.” (65%).
  • The top three policy plans that the UK public, including all those aged 50 and under, believe would be last appealing to younger voters is “Measures to limit critical teaching of British history in schools” (45%), “Reducing access to women-only spaces for transgender people” (39%) and “Introducing stricter controls on immigration” (37%).
  • The UK public, including all those aged 50 and under, are most likely to believe that the policy that would most improve the financial situation of young people in the country is ‘Increasing the minimum wage’ (38%).
  • A majority of the UK public believe that the economic prospects of younger people are harder than younger people 10 years ago (56%), 20 years ago (60%) and 30 years ago (58%), with those aged 25-49 most likely to believe all of this than any other age group.
  • The UK public are most likely to believe that the Conservative Party looks out for the interests of babyboomers (31%) above any other generation, and the interests of Generation Z (32%) the least than any other generation.


Ryan Shorthouse, Executive Chair of Bright Blue, commented:

“The electoral prospects of the Conservative Party next year are not good. But, in the decades ahead, they are perilous because younger Brits have turned their back on the Tories. The Prime Minister doesn’t just need to salvage the Tory brand in the short-term, he needs to think long-term and better attract and support younger people to ensure the Conservatives have a chance of ever being elected again in the decades to come.

“It is much more difficult for younger adults to get on in life and live ‘the British dream’ of having children and owning a home than in recent decades. This is the predominant reason why younger adults are not voting Conservative. The Conservatives won’t win them back by fighting the cultural war, but by religiously focussing on growing the economy and making it easier to start and sustain a family.”

“Boosting home ownership, in particular, is vital for the prosperity of individuals, the country and British conservatism. That means building more houses, but also ensuring suitable demand-side subsidies for first-time buyers, especially now Help to Buy has expired.”