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« Question 5: What will the candidates do to honour family and change tax system to help marriage? | Main | Question 7: Would you amend/ rescind hunting ban? »



Why is this always considered such a pivotal vote? We've an ageing population in the UK. More old people should mean more people voting tory. Maybe people such become more conservative as they get older. After all, you cant please all the people all the time. The Tories should focus on clawing back middle englands votes, not wasting resources on getting the votes of inner city teenagers, who, no matter what either candidate says or does, will, in general, NEVER vote tory. But then, i get the feeling both canditates are just paying lip service to the issue anyway.


On his home ground, and Cameron fluffed it! I dread to think how he will fall apart like paper in warm water, the moment Labour start on him.


I don't think DC really did himself justice here. He has lots of proactive ideas for lowering the average age of the party and easing the oldies out of positions of power, and it isn't fair to judge him on the basis of one bad TV performance.

Richard Carey

"More old people should mean more people voting tory."

The trouble with that is the corollary. At the last couple of elections, polling has shown that our vote has become more elderly, more male, less educated and more right wing.

If just the first of these is not concerning enough (in purely electoral terms it makes it more likely that the Conservative vote has been dying faster than that of our opponents, forcing us to run faster just to stand still), consider the others. The Party has in recent elections (probably 1997/2001) ceased to be the choice of the aspirational middle class voter, and our vote share has fallen among ABC1s.

Yet another indicator that for the Party not to fundamentally change is not an option.


The simplest way to lower the average age of the party is to vote for a leader with a below-average age. Nuff said!!!!


This should have been a golden opportunity for Cameron to set out his agenda, but he did not seem to quite get his act together.
There are a whole range of issues - global warming, environmental protection, human rights, overseas development - which young
people in particular feel strongly about but which have in the past been issues over which the left has made all the running. Liam Fox in particular seemed to recognise that there was a need for the party to build its credibility and appeal in these areas, and that they could be allied with a strong position on tax, wealth creation and Europe.
Cameron does not yet seem to have thought this through so clearly. He needs to build his detailed knowledge and demonstrate some passion in his delivery on these topics and he needs to recognise that it is possible to be rightly concerned about Gibraltar and Zimbabwe at the same time - the two are not mutually exclusive. A missed opportunity for
Cameron to take on board aspects of the Fox agenda which particularly appeal to the younger vote.

Jack Stone

The act of voting in a leader of David Camerons age will inevitably encourage more young people into the party as it always does when a party passes the baton of leadership on to a new generation.


I wonder if they said that about Churchill in 1940?

Al G

This is all extraordinarily patronising! The logic seems to be that gay people would never vote for a hetrosexual, a Muslim for a Christian, a woman for a man. The youth of Britain would vote for the Tories ONLY if Cameron was elected. Wrong.

Give young folk a little more credit! We may have been let down by failing schools, rises in crime against us and meaningless exams but that does not mean we are thick!

Cameron failed to show any genuine answer to why the Tories don't get the youth vote. As Davis pointed out, the problem is not about any peculiarity of youth. (Our vote has fallen across the board, especially with women.) It is about our having been a shambles for ten years.


Jack, William Hague was a young leader, so it's not just a question of age. It's more a question of attitude, of the Conservatives becoming popular, or to use the current term "cool". The majority of young people are anti-establishment. Now that we have been in opposition for so long we will be able to profit from that label. The pendulum is swinging back to us! Both candidates could attract younger voters.

Ronald Collinson

Neither them answered this particularly well, although I am relieved that nobody mentioned those accursed wristbands. Much as I admire IDS, he is entirely wrong about 'the wristband generation'.

Most people who wear these patronising, silly wristbands (does nobody else see something terribly ironic in 'education 4 africa'?) do so because it is fashionable to do so, not because they have any belief in this cause. The majority of young people, however, seem unlikely to vote – or, at least, unlikely to vote intelligently.

The two are right that, in general, young people who likely to vote do not care solely about themselves, and they correctly identify the issues that they are concerned with. They are idealistic (unfortunately, they also usually highly liberal or socialist). Neither candidate is likely to connect, and Cameron's apparent belief in the voter as a consumer – in political parties as companies – is not going to help.

Cameron's insistence that he is young is, meanwhile, laughable. Only somebody who had spent so long at the Westminster Village would consider himself young at thirty-nine (one of the audience members, despite being under thirty, believed that hter youth was ending). By the next election, he may be as old as forty-three.

But that makes no difference anyway. Al is right; young people are no more likely to vote for somebody simply because he is marginally younger than the other candidate.

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