Tuesday, 3 October 2017

The Tory membership crisis

Tim Bale discusses the Tory membership crisis: ageing, not very representative of the population and not very active. They can't mobilise the troops on the ground in the way that a reinvigorated Labour Party can: Membership crisis

Whether his prescriptions for making things better would help is open to question, not that I could come up with any better ideas. In particular, it is difficult to appeal to younger voters when the market economy is not delivering for them. There is one of those sea changes in the political mood taking place that Jim Callaghan identified in 1979.

Jeremy Corbyn was right to suggest last week that the centre point in the political spectrum is not fixed and can be shifted. Margaret Thatcher tried to shift it to the right, with limited success given that voters had an attachment to the welfare state and in particular to the NHS. She was helped as much by an opposition in disarray as anything else.

What the Conservatives are good at is clinging on to office when the odds are against them. However, they are so divided and Brexit is in such a muddle that even that is open to doubt.

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