Tory voters dying off at a rate of 2% a year

Former Conservative deputy prime minister Lord Heseltine has warned his party that its electoral base is dying off at a rate of 2% a year.

The Tory grandee, who served in Margaret Thatcher’s cabinet and who was John Major’s deputy, said the Conservative Party needs to work hard to “restore its electoral fortunes”.

Michael Heseltine with Margaret Thatcher in 1975

He told Sky News: “One thing which is just worth having in mind, and you can’t do anything about it, 2% of the older part of the electorate die every year – they are 70% Conservative.

“Another 2% come in at the young end of the electorate – they are about 70% Labour. That’s about 2% change each year. There isn’t that much time.”

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Corbyn a ‘credible’ PM says Tory grandee

The pro-European, who has strongly criticised his party’s Brexit policies, also warned Conservatives that Labour poses a real threat.

He said: “I find it incredible but I think Mr Corbyn is now a credible candidate for Number 10. The danger is that the Conservatives don’t find a way to argue him out of that position.

Jeremy Corbyn pictured hours after the election result became clear
Jeremy Corbyn pictured hours after the election result became clear

“I am as interested in what the Conservatives are going to say as I am in who is going to say it. Theresa May could do the party a service by holding on a little whilst the party comes to a conclusion not just about who, but what.”

“Given my rather bleak but I think realistic assessment about the time in which this Government can survive before the opposition parties have a self interest in bringing it down, it must be a matter of months before we have a new leader and a redefined policy in order to give us the chance to persuade an electorate that they want to support us.”

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