Monday, 29 June 2020

Voters and parties have divergent values

This study of the social and economic values of MPs, party members and voters is clearly very important and will repay careful reading:

One key take home message is that the study shows the serious problems both parties have with the electorate, albeit not on the same issues.  Voters are more aligned with Labour on economic values and with the Conservatives on social values.

'The fact that Conservative MPs so strongly reject widespread perceptions of structural unfairness – far more strongly than grassroots Conservative Party members and activists – hints at the challenge the Johnson government will face if the shock of Covid-19 triggers public demand for economic redistribution and reform'

'The Conservative Party won in 2010 and 2015 by insisting on the need for austerity and cuts that chimed with the views of MPs, activists and members on the role of the state, and made sense to a lot of voters. If, however, a sense that "there is one law for the rich and one for the poor", and that ordinary people who have done nothing wrong are being let down by the government, begins to take hold, then the gap between Conservative Party people and voters as a whole could prove deeply problematic for the Johnson government.'

'On the other side of the fence, Labour’s struggles over Brexit between 2016 and 2019 were arguably symptomatic of a disconnect on a wider set of social values between its MPs, activists and members, on the one hand, and many of its potential voters, on the other.'

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