THE results of the next General Election could be determined by which party can appeal best to Christians, according to two surveys.

A study by theology think-tank Theos showed that while support for the Conservatives had risen generally from 21 to 34 per cent since 2005, it had only crept up from 38 to 40 per cent among Christians.

This meant that Christians were now evenly split between those thinking that the Conservatives had been most sympathetic to them and those feeling the same about Labour. “Labour is in a position where it could benefit from reaching out, especially to Christians,” Theos director Paul Woolley said.

Christian attendance at the ballot box is normally strong and 48 per cent of Christians said they were “absolutely certain” to vote.

The vote of young Evangelicals could also prove vital. A survey by the Evangelical Alliance reveals that 81 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds would be making use of their first vote. That’s more than double the percentage of people in the same age bracket who voted at the last General Election. They have set up a website, with no political bias, encouraging Christians to engage in the political process (

Annette Brooke, Lib-Dem MP for Mid Dorset and North Poole, who has visited the website, told me: “I would urge all readers to consider voting.

“I understand why people are so disillusioned after the expenses scandal but parliamentary democracy is important. For Christians, I think there are some very important issues ahead of us.

“In this country we have a very unequal distribution of income and wealth, and this in itself can lead to many problems in society. “Many Christians write to me feeling that they are being inhibited in free speech by various laws that have been before Parliament and that non-Christian religions seem to be given greater consideration. “Free speech is an important aspect of our society, as is tolerance. The important matter for Parliament is to get the balance right.”

Tobias Ellwood, Conservative MP for Bournemouth East, told me: “Politics is about values; debating and then agreeing what is considered right and what is considered wrong.

“While we live in a tolerant, mutli-cultural society, being a Christian has helped shape my views and indeed my values. “After a decade where some say the pendulum of political correctness has swung so far people are apprehensive of expressing any views, fearful of causing offence, I would encourage all first-time voters to engage in the political debate.”