Study Shows Brits Are More Right-Wing Than Their Parents' Generation

Those wanting a rise in welfare dropped from 55% to 27%

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A new study has explained why long periods of Conservative governments and unchanged political messages from Labour have caused a generational rise in right-wing and authoritarian beliefs.

Findings by the University of Sheffield and the University of Southampton's study show that Britons aged 27-40 are now more right-wing in their political beliefs than their parents generation. The research used the British Social Attitudes Survey data from 1985-2012 and found right-wing policies on crime, welfare and wealth re-distribution were increasingly prevalent in young people.

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Study authors highlight that the 18 year rule of the Conservative from 1979 to 1997 was "the longest unbroken period of rule by one party in the UK since 1830" and that it had "a strong influence on the values of young people coming of age in this political context." This generation came of age during a sustained period of Conservatism and thus those now 41-58 years old have increasingly right-wing views, hence the term "Thatcher's Children".

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Interestingly this continued for "Blair's Babies" who came of age under New Labour and are now aged between 27 and 40. The survey found that those in agreement that "governments ought to redistribute income" had fallen from 45 per cent in 1987 to 36 per cent in 2009, and the proportion saying "government ought to spend more on benefits" fell from 55 per cent in 1987 to 27 per cent in 2009.

Professor Stephen Farrall, co-author of the study told The Independent: "Blair did not really challenge the kind of discourse which Thatcher had set up. Remember his quote about being "quite relaxed about people getting rich".

Has it changed for the generation growing up now? In the wake of the right-wing victories of the EU referendum result and the election of Donald Trump, graphs circulated showing the liberal leanings of millennials.

In the UK 73% of 18-24 year olds voted to remain part of the European Union and in America a survey of voter intention in the weeks leading up to the election showed a majority of 18-25 year olds in 43 states would vote for Clinton.

Gives these statistics you'd believe the selfie generation are more progressive, liberal and left-wing than their parents. Professor Farrall argues that: "The younger generations have become increasingly socially and economically liberal. They're much less concerned about religious beliefs or whether you're gay, lesbian or straight, which people were previously more concerned about."

This doesn't necessarily mean they're left-wing in their economic beliefs. He added: "They are much more accepting of diversity, but they are also much more accepting of economic inequality."