After the fall

Think tank: Onward

Author(s): James Blagden; Will Tanner

October 24, 2022

This report from UK think tank Onward looks at where the Conservatives went wrong and how they can win again.

New report by thinktank Onward draws on a 10,000 person poll by JL Partners to set out where the Conservatives have gone wrong and how they can win again. The polling presents a bleak picture for Conservatives: The Conservative Party is now deeply unpopular with great swathes of the public. More than one in three voters (35%) rate their chances of ever voting Conservative at zero per cent and nearly half (46%) rate it as extremely unlikely (<10%). The average age where someone is more likely to vote Conservative has increased: anyone born after 1965 is more likely to vote Labour than Conservative. But there is a small chance of revival. Those that have effected from the Conservatives are more likely to say they don’t know who they will vote for rather than row in behind Labour. This makes these voters easier to win back.This means targetting economically left, socially conservative voters. These voters make up 4 million of the 6.7 million voters they have lost. How can the Tories do this? By returning to the national conservatism that won them an 80 seat majority in 2019. When asked to rate 60 different policies against one another using a method called MaxDiff, voters’ priorities are clear. They want help for low earners (through lower bills and higher wages), investment in the NHS and public services, more apprenticeships and an end to high levels of immigration.They are much less concerned by culture war issues. This must be coupled with a clear return to honesty and integrity – when voters were asked where the Conservatives have gone wrong it was the handling of political scandals which came up most regularly.