THE Tories need to re-engage seriously with young voters or face “terminal decline,” a Scottish Conservative MP has warned as the party’s appeal to the under-40s has reached an historic low of below 10,000.

Andrew Bowie, 29, one of the new Tory intake from 2017 who took West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine from the SNP last June, admitted the party had a “serious problem” and is now part of a group of new Conservative MPs working with Tory HQ and Downing Street to broaden the party’s appeal with young voters.

“For far too long we were reliant far too much on the older vote. We took for granted that when people become slightly older, owned property, had a job and a family, they would naturally pivot towards Conservatives. We need to have some base in the 18 to 40 group and we are now at an historic low in that age range voting for us,” explained the backbencher, who is one of 12 new Scottish Tory MPs at Westminster.

One of the most significant factors about the snap June election was how Labour was able to gain support from a younger generation of voters, who in past polls had not participated.

Asked how many young members the party had, Mr Bowie admitted: “It’s not great; we are talking about four figures, not five.”

The MP, in an interview with the i newspaper, admitted the Conservatives appeared as a “fringe group” to many younger voters and they had mounted a “terrible” social media campaign during the election.

He noted how young people, including so-called millennials, were not “going to go on that journey towards Conservatism” if they did not know anyone in their age group, who were supporting the party.

The Scottish Tory MP said UK Government announcements on housing, the environment and student debt were examples of Theresa May responding to younger voters’ concerns. “We’ve ceded ground to Labour on all of these issues, and more, that people under the age of 40 care about.”

But he pointed to the success of Ruth Davidson, the 39-year-old Scottish Tory leader, who had succeeded in engaging with people, who had never previously considered voting Conservative. “It’s about making people feel they are part of the conversation,” declared Mr Bowie.

The Prime Minister was in Berkshire on Wednesday morning, visiting homeowners to highlight how young first-time buyers south of the border had benefited from her Government’s stamp duty reforms.

In terms of attracting young people to vote Tory, housing is seen as the number one issue.

Whitehall officials pointed out how the stamp duty reforms announced in the autumn Budget had already saved thousands of pounds for more than 16,000 first-time buyers south of the border; similar measures were announced by the Scottish Government in its December Budget.

During her trip to Wokingham, Mrs May said: “I want to see everybody able to achieve the British dream of owning their own home. Sadly, too many young people particularly today are worried that they will never be able to do that. That's why the Government has put more money into enabling councils to build homes, more affordable homes.''

Meanwhile, the PM is set to give her government a more youthful appearance .

It is expected that in a Government reshuffle later this month she will promote a raft of younger ministers, introducing new blood from the 2015/17 intake, particularly women.

Junior ministers tipped be promoted include: Margot James, the Minister for Small Business; Anne Milton, the Education Minister; Sarah Newton, the Minister for Disabled People; Clare Perry, the Minister for Climate Change, and Harriett Baldwin, the Minister for Defence Procurement. Dominic Raab, the Justice Minister, and Damian Hinds, the Employment Minister, could also be elevated.

Some rising stars from the 2015 intake, such as Plymouth MP Johnny Mercer, 36, and Rishi Sunak, the MP for Richmond in Yorkshire, 37, are predicted to get their first Government jobs.

Speculation is mounting that Cabinet changes will start with the removal of Sir Patrick McLoughlin, the party Chairman who oversaw the party’s disastrous election campaign.

Brandon Lewis, the Immigration Minister, who already can attend Cabinet when his brief is discussed, is tipped to replace him.

Jeremy Hunt’s mooted move to the Cabinet Office to take over the Whitehall co-ordination role from Damian Green has raised hackles. Senior Nationalist sources have voiced concerns about what they see as his divisive approach given that whoever replaces Mr Green will be the key Government point-man for liaison with the Scottish Government on the Brexit legislation.

There is also growing expectation that Justine Greening, the Education Secretary, could be moved, possibly demoted to take over as Commons Leader from Andrea Leadsom. Some pundits are also forecasting that Chris Grayling, the Transport Secretary, who was criticised this week for being abroad when the rail fare rises came into force, will be sacked.

However, there are no expectations of changes in the main portfolios with Philip Hammond, Boris Johnson, Amber Rudd and David Davis all expected to continue in their present roles.