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What’s Onward This Week

“If you’re not a liberal when you’re 25, you have no heart. If you’re not a conservative by the time you’re 35, you have no brain.” 

This quote, often falsely attributed to Winston Churchill, used to ring true in British politics. As voters put down roots – starting a family, buying a house, earning a high wage – they moved away from Labour and towards the Conservatives.

But this trend is no longer holding. Millennials, the cohort born in the 1980s and 1990s who are between 25 and 40 years old, are not exactly enamoured with the Conservative Party. The question for the Government is: does this matter for their electoral prospects? And if it does, how do they turn things around?

Next week Onward releases the results of a new megapoll, commissioned in search of the Conservative’s “Missing Millennials”. To get the first look, sign up to our event next Tuesday morning with columnist Charlotte Ivers and Bim Afolami MP.

✍️ Research

Deputy Director, Adam Hawksbee, wrote for City A.M. this week about Kellingley, a regeneration success story in North Yorkshire. The snapshot on the Coalfields Regeneration Trust builds on a number of Onward research papers on the importance of devolution and local institutions.

In Double Devo, we recommended extending the town and parish council model across the whole of England and entrusting them with greater responsibilities. In Give Back Control, we called for broader and deeper power for metro-mayors. And in Levelling Up Locally, we provided local leaders with a playbook of interventions to accelerate regeneration of their communities. 

📰 Media Mentions

Head of Getting to Zero, Jack Richardson, appeared on GB News to discuss Hydrogen: Who Pays? with Nigel Farage. The report was also covered in Mail Online, The Telegraph and BusinessGreen.

Our Future of Conservatism project was mentioned in the Financial Times

Generation Why, part of our Future Politics programme, was mentioned in BBC News.

🌐 Onward Online

Allan Nixon, Head of Science and Technology, gives an overview of DSIT’s new National Semiconductor Strategy.

Director, Sebastian Payne, spoke at New Local’s Stronger Things conference earlier this week about community power.

🗓️ Upcoming Events

Missing Millennials

Millennials are a key part of the British electorate and what they think matters. They represent around a quarter of voters, which will grow steadily over the next decade. But millennials are the first demographic cohort not to become more right wing as they age. It is vital that the Conservative Party addresses the concerns of these younger voters at the next election and beyond.

Onward’s new research Missing Millennials seeks to better understand millennials’ unique concerns and priorities, examine why they are not trending rightward and pinpoint why they have developed a particular aversion to the Conservative Party.

This event will explore the findings of our research and what opportunities the Tories have for improving their longer term standing with millennials. Sign up here

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A Shot in the Arm: Restoring the UK’s capacity to run clinical trials

The development of COVID-19 vaccines was an unmitigated success. But alongside this success lies an uncomfortable reality – the UK’s attractiveness to large clinical trials is in decline. If the UK is to be a ‘science superpower’, it cannot allow its strongest research sectors to fall behind international rivals.

This event will consider, in the wake of Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic, what are the opportunities for growth offered by restoring UK clinical research? How will this stimulate innovation? How will capacity for research in the NHS be ring-fenced? What are the major causes of the decline in clinical trials in the UK? What are barriers currently impeding the ability to run trials? How are they recognised and addressed, especially considering differences between specialties? In addressing such questions, this panel will explore the need to restore clinical trial capabilities in the UK to deliver growth and improve the delivery of care.

Sign up here.

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