Tuesday, October 04, 2011


Tories Are Alienating Women Voters

Jackie Ashley's piece recently on Cameron, his party and women was quite perceptive I thought and maybe offered pointers as to the way the Coalition is going with voters. Cameron is riding high in the ratings but he has a problem with woman which his apology for appearing condescending to Angela Eagle will not resolve. The fact that he did apologize is evidence of a political concern that must be growing as the months pass by. Whilst Tories have a slight lead among male voters, they trail 21 to 27 per cent with the gap widening with ascending age cohorts.

This must worry them as recently as last Christmas the Tories enjoyed a lead among women voters- by June this year they had lost it. At this rate of loss how big is the gap going to become? A book by Sarah Childs and Paul Webb, Sex, Gender and the Conservative Party, argues that Cameron, despite his women friendly rhetoric and photo- ops, has soft pedaled on female candidates. They p[oint out that the Conservative Party contains two very distinctive type of female: the traditional, blue rinse, envelop stuffing old matrons and the ambitious career woman like Louise Mensch and Justine Greening. Labour, as Yvette Cooper demonstrated at the recent conference, currently has a number of able women in the public eye and Miliband is likely to promote more in his expected reshufffle.

David Cameron tries to tell us he's a 'new man' but, as with his social provenance, his tendency to make condescending remarks to women is something he cannot really disguise. As the cuts bite more deeply and affect even more hundreds of thousands of women, I suspect the voting gender gap will continue to widen.

La Ashley/Mrs Marr is as usual being economic with the math. Looking back to the last general election, 27% of women aged 25-34 years voted Conservative, compared with 42% of men of the same age. In every age group above 35 years, the Tories outperformed Labour, irrespective of gender.

Kind regards
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