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Heseltine: Tory voters dying off at 2% a year

19 June 2017 National News

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”.

Image: 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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Video: 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

Image: 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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