POLITICS
24/07/2013 10:02 BST | Updated 24/07/2013 10:47 BST

Grassroots Tories Have Differing Views On Female MPs To David Cameron

PA
Delegates listen to the speakers during the second day of the Conservative Conference at Birmingham's International Convention Centre.

In the eyes of the public, a continuing image problem suffered by the Conservative Party is the glaring lack of female MPs - only 48 out of 304.

But this doesn't seem to bother almost half of grassroots Tories. A poll has revealed 46% of them either don't care or think it is 'about right' that only 16% of MPs are women.

Just over half of members (52%) said they would like to see more.

The views of the grassroots would appear to be out of sync with the leadership as only yesterday David Cameron indicated he may promote more women to ministerial roles.

The prime minister frequently receives criticism for only having four female ministers out of 22 cabinet members.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Women's Hour on Monday he said: "What I have done is consistently try and change the Conservative Party.

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"We went form 17 women MPs before the election to 48 women MPs, that's still not enough, that's still 48 out of just over 300, but it's progress."

Another revelation of the poll was that grassroots Tories are not the stuffy golf-playing, church-attending types of popular myth.

A paltry 8% dust off a five-iron at the weekend.

Only 15% attend some kind of religious service once a week (although this is still above the national average).

(The poll was conducted by YouGov on behalf of Ballots and Bullets, a blog produced by members of the School of Politics and International Relations at the University of Nottingham.)

Cameron looking upset