School of Politics and International Relations

Meet the 0.25 percent of Brits who will pick the next prime minister

18 July 2019

About 160,000 members of the Conservative Party who paid their annual due will decide the leader of the country next week.  That’s not a thin slice of the population, it’s a crumb — about 0.25 percent of the 66 million people in the United Kingdom, or about 0.35 percent of the total electorate.  And it’s an unrepresentative crumb, at that: dominated by white men who tend to be older and better off than your average Brit — and more insistent in their desire to leave the European Union.

“They’re consumed, if not obsessed, by Brexit,” said Tim Bale, a Politics Professor at Queen Mary University of London who has studied the party membership.

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