Voters over the age of 39 more likely to have backed Tories at election, analysis finds

PUBLISHED: 14:26 17 December 2019 | UPDATED: 14:26 17 December 2019

Prime Minister Boris Johnson holds his first cabinet meeting following the general election in Downing Street. Photograph: Matt Dunham/PA Wire.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson holds his first cabinet meeting following the general election in Downing Street. Photograph: Matt Dunham/PA Wire.

Age remains a key dividing line across British politics as older people once again swayed the election in favour of the Tories.

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A YouGov survey of 40,000 adults following the election on Thursday found that while the majority of younger voters backed Labour, the Conservatives were overwhelmingly ahead among their older compatriots.

However the tipping point at which a voter is more likely to back the Tories than Labour was down sharply to 39, compared with 47 at the last election.

Among 18 to 24-year-olds, 56% voted Labour compared with 21% for the Tories, while among the 30-39 age group it was 46% for Labour against 30% for the Conservatives.

Support for the Tories overtook Labour in the 40-49 age group by a margin of 41% to 35%, while among the 70-plus group it was 67% Conservative and just 14% Labour.

The election also sharpened the divisions on Brexit, with the Tories increasing their share of the Leave vote from 65% in 2017 to 74% this time round.

In contrast, Labour's share of the Remain vote fell from 55% in 2017 to just under half at 49%.

Most of their losses were as a result of people switching to the Liberal Democrats, whose share of the Remain vote rose from 12% to 21%.

Despite their commitment to delivering Brexit, the Conservatives managed to convince 65% of their voters who backed Remain in 2016 to stick with them.

However only 52% of those who voted Leave in 2016 and Labour in 2017 stuck with the party in 2019, with 33% moving directly to the Tories, while 6% voted for the Brexit Party.

Overall, the Conservatives retained the support of 85% of voters who backed them in 2017, compared with 72% of Labour voters in the last election who stuck with the party.

Labour lost roughly the same numbers to the Tories (11%) as they did to the Lib Dems (9%).

Nigel Farage's Brexit Party did little damage to the Conservatives, attracting just 2% of their 2017 support.

Despite increasing their overall vote share from 8% to 12%, the Lib Dems only retained 59% of their 2017 vote - with one in five moving to Labour and 14% to the Tories.

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