TORY activists worry more than others that their party is “old-fashioned” and may not be “competent”, new research has found.

The claim comes from a study unveiled today by the Mile End Institute at Queen Mary University of London, which surveyed more than 4100 members of the UK’s four biggest parties shortly after last year’s snap General Election.

It found LibDem members are least likely to tell others about their allegiance, with 36 per cent choosing not to mention membership when conversation turns to politics.

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Meanwhile, almost one quarter of SNP members say young people lack sufficient respect for “traditional British values” – more than Labour members, one third of whom want EU citizens to be subject to the same immigration rules as non-EU nationals after Brexit.

More than half of Tory supporters favour bringing back the death penalty for the most serious crimes, and just 40 per cent of Conservatives are in favour of same-sex marriage.

Across the board, most party members where white, male, middle class and 55 or older.

However, researchers found Theresa May’s party members were more likely than any others to hold concerns about their group’s ethics.

The report states: “Members of all four parties seem to think that, on balance, their parties are moderate and competent, as well as concerned about gender equality, welcoming to ethnic minorities, sympathetic to people claiming benefits and more likely to unite rather than divide the country, although on the last four Conservative members seem more concerned than their counterparts in other parties that this might not be the case.

“Grassroots Tories also worry most that their party is old-fashioned, and aren’t quite so sure either that their party is competent, or friendly to gays and lesbians, or concerned about the environment, or that it stands up for immigrants.

“And they think, on balance, that their party is divided – but then so do Labour members.”

The research found SNP members had the most frequent face-to-face contact with their parties over the 12 months preceding the poll, with LibDems in second place.

When asked if the party lived up to expectations, 76 per cent of Tory members said it fully or partly did so, compared with 80 per cent of Labour and LibDem supporters and 91 per cent of those in the SNP.

Activity levels amongst SNP members were reportedly higher than those of other parties during the 2017 General Election campaign, with Tory members said to have been the least active.

Commenting on the findings, the SNP said: “This study confirms just how out of touch the Tories are with modern Scotland – they still are the nasty party.”

The National also contacted the Conservatives, Labour and the LibDems for comment.

When asked about holding a second referendum on the Brexit deal, 91 per cent of LibDems said they were in favour, as well as 87 per cent of SNP activists and 78 per cent of those in the Labour ranks. This compares to 14 per cent of Tories.

The report said: “Members of the four main parties are more likely to be male, more likely to be middle class, and more likely to be older than the average Briton.

“None of the parties has got that much to write home about when it come to young people: only about one in 20 UK party members is aged between 18-24 compared to around one in ten of the general population.”