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Tories need to target ‘shy capitalists’ or face millennial wipeout at next general election, new report warns

The Conservatives need to try and win over “shy capitalists” with tax cuts or face a millennial wipeout at the next election, new research suggests.

Rishi Sunak’s party are deeply unpopular among millennials, with only a fifth (21 per cent) of 25-40 year-olds saying they would vote Tory at the next election compared with nearly half (45 per cent) who would back Labour, the Focaldata study for the Onward think-tank shows.

Their votes are set to be important at the next election as they represent 26 per cent of the adult population and are already the largest age cohort in more than half (51 per cent) of constituencies, or 324 seats.

Many areas where the Conservatives need to shore up their support already have a majority of millennials among voters, according to Onward.

They are also the first generation not to become right wing as they age.

However, focus group research suggests they are “shy capitalists” who prefer keeping their own money over more redistribution of income, and are more likely to view businesses as providing opportunities than being exploitative.

They also prioritise housing, jobs, and tax over immigration and crime, which other age cohorts care about more.

The research could pile pressure on the Prime Minister to deliver tax cuts ahead of the next election, a task which is looking more difficult following stubbornly high inflation figures last week.

Sebastian Payne, director of Onward, said: “Millennials are not becoming more right wing as they age, which is a serious long-term problem for the Conservatives.

“More home ownership and better jobs are critical to winning back their support, but so too are taxes.

“They are ‘shy capitalists’ who prefer lower taxes instead of the Government redistributing their income.

“Combined with their more positive attitudes towards Rishi Sunak, there is hope yet that millennials can be won back over. But they need optimism and hope for the future.”

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