Have women in the UK historically supported the Conservative Party more than the Labour party?

A friend of mine claimed he’d heard that was true, or at least true until very recently it was true.
Is that true, and if so why? I ask because in the US just the opposite has been true and I was wondering why there’d be such a different trend in the UK.

The Conservatives did have the first (and so far, only) woman Prime Minister in the late Margaret Thatcher, though I haven’t heard before that there’s a huge delineation for party support on gender lines. In the last election for example Labour have a higher percentage of women MPs, but the Telegraph reports that Labour leader Ed Miliband had less support than among women than Cameron. Then again a poll on Mumsnet found that women were more likely in the 2015 election to vote Labour.

Well, here is a link to a page with a handy graph which tracks Labour and Tory support since 1974, broken down by gender. It suggests that up until 1997 women tended to favour the Tories slightly, relative to men, in 1997 and 2001 it was pretty much line ball, and since 2001 women have tended to favour Labour slightly, relative to men.

And Election 2015: Is there really such a thing as 'the women's vote'? - BBC News is a link to a BBC report suggesting some other sex-linked differences which may be of interest. Women have different policy priorities to men, they have weaker party loyalties and are more likely to be “undecided” in opinion polls, they are more likley than men to vote Green but less likely to vote SNP, BNP or UKIP. That page also points out that women live longer than men and are therefore skewed slightly (relative to the men) to the older age groups, and this might (at least partly) explain any apparent preference for the Tories. To really see the difference between mens and women’s voting patterns, you have to control for age.