…is defeat; for the Labour Party in Crewe and Nantwich. The Conservatives won a majority with 20,539 votes, handing them this with a 17.6% swing. The tide is turning, but as David Cameron has said, “we’ve still a huge amount of work to do.” This is on top of Boris Johnson gaining City Hall, along with 44% of the popular vote in local elections, now giving it control of the majority of local Councils. The Financial Times (May 23rd), in its editorial says the Government is ‘out of ideas and badly adrift.’
However, and this is where my “flipside” comes in, the FT also states that ‘it makes tactical sense’ for Cameron to wait, to make a further call for a general election, until he can ‘set out a [clear] programme for government.’ That is crucial. Great strides have been made, especially since people ‘are no longer embarrassed to vote Conservative.’ (The Economist, May 10th). Perhaps that is because the party no longer advocates “dog whistle” immigration policies, or maybe it is because ‘Mr Cameron has emulated the can-do idealism that New Labour once honed.’ Also from The Economist. That is why this victory has a flipside, because we have to understand that political parties evolve, and in order for this one to make more gains it has to adopt policies which are good for the country as a whole. Policies which gained momentum and strength, not always from Tory ‘think tanks’, but within the minds of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, within the heart of the New Labour movement.
Dominic Tarn (ULC Conservatives)