The Tories Could be A Dead Party in My Lifetime

I will not mourn its extinction

Matt Mason

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It’s “common knowledge” (though one I would challenge) that people get more conservative as they get older because they have something to conserve (like a house, income, pension etc). In a recent piece in the Financial Times called “Millennials are shattering the oldest rule in politics” research shows that this increased conservatism is slowing in GenX and non-existent among millennials.

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

Past data has shown that people tend to have more progressive views when younger and more conservative views when older. That’s certainly been the case with Baby Boomers and every generation before them in the UK.

It seems to be the case with my generation too (GenX) though I’d love, if possible, to see further breakdown within this to see if Xennials (the younger end (my end)) vary greatly from the older end of our generation.

While the piece seems to deal almost entirely with economic outlook such as home ownership, I don’t think that’s the whole picture.

Millennials are more educated than their peers

Even if we accept that people are passively becoming more conservative as they age, we must also take onboard the fact that people tend to lean more left wing as their education level increases.

In the UK at least, millennials are the generation who went to university in much higher numbers due to Tony Blair’s aggressive drive for social mobility through education. While this doesn’t impact the similar figures among US millennials, there is one thing both have in common — the financial crisis of 2008.

In both countries, the poorest were squeezed while the lower- and middle-class incomes were squeezed like never before. This further drove people into education as they left their jobs for some investment in their own futures when things got better.

Millennials have different values

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Matt Mason

Freelance writer. Medium is my place to muse and vent the serious and the frivolous: asexuality, childfree living, gaming, society, satire and more.