Tory voters are less likely to have been victims of discrimination or abuse than Labour or Lib Dem supporters, a new survey has revealed.
The research shows that while 40% of Tories have experienced sexism, that number rises to almost 60% for Labour voters and 52% for Lib Dems.
Just 28% of Conservative voters say they have been subjected to racism, compared to 37% of Labour backers and almost 30% of Lib Dems.
Yet despite experiencing much less discrimination than supporters of other parties, 95% of Tories believe racism does exist in the UK.
The findings are part of a report from liberal conservative think-tank Bright Blue, which says the reasons behind the differences are “complex”, and not just caused by the “demographic composition” of the parties.
The report reads: “For example, both Conservatives and non-Conservatives have roughly the same proportion of women and disabled people.
“But Labour voters are still considerably more likely to have experienced a ‘significant’ amount of sexism or discrimination against disabled people.”
Another explanation is the age of voters. According to the report: “Younger people are more likely to report having experienced a ‘significant’ amount of all the different forms of discrimination and abuse, and Labour voters have a significantly younger average age.”
The survey, which was carried out by YouGov, also asked voters what they believed to be the main reason “minority groups” are less likely to have jobs.
The most popular reason among Labour and Lib Dem voters was “discrimination by employers” – 34% and 27% respectively.
But the most popular response from Conservatives was “Not applicable – I do not believe certain minority groups are less likely to be in employment than other groups.”
The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show that while 4% of white people are classed as unemployed, 7.8% from an ethnic minority background are without work.
The report says: “The popularity of this response suggests that a substantial minority of Conservatives are lacking in accurate information on this issue, an impression compounded by the fact that 10% of Conservatives select ‘don’t know’ in response to this question.”
The report also shows that a majority of voters of all parties believe the most important human right is that “to a fair trial”, with Conservatives viewing traditional English common law as the legislation that best protects human rights.
Most Conservative voters are opposed to quotas and tax incentives to improve the employment rate of certain minority groups, but only a minority are opposed to name-blind admissions (22%).
Ryan Shorthouse, Director of Bright Blue and co-author of the report, said: “A fair trial for – and fair treatment of – all individuals are absolutely fundamental principles that need to be defended and strengthened.
“The Conservative Party, with its long history of defending individual freedom, should ensure that all of us have adequate protection and redress from the abuse of power.
“Discrimination is, like the abuse of human rights, an unjustified barrier to individual freedom and flourishing. A clear majority of voters, including Conservative voters, believe a significant amount of different forms of discrimination exist.
“Tackling discrimination should be comfortable and prime territory for the Conservative Government. As a first step, it should extend name-blind admissions for all jobs in all civil service departments and public sector agencies.”
The polling was undertaken by YouGov between 18 and 23 July 2017, and consisted of 6,530 British adult respondents, who were surveyed online.