YouGov have released an excellent analysis of the vote broken down into various demographics. What this shows is that what we knew about young voting turnout was true, and indeed it now seems to go further, with an implication that the majority of people in employment voted Labour. If it weren’t for the retired, we’d have truly had a result not dissimilar to 1997.
The interesting point about the retired still voting Conservative is that it much of the manifesto turned them off anyway; the dementia tax and abandonment of the triple-lock didn’t actually seem to do that much damage, after all.
We have lost a voice who speaks up for people who want to “get on and do the right thing” by consistently reminding them that they are being taxed less. We’ve lost that voice who tells young people that they can get on with new postgraduate loans, with Help to Buy and Right to Buy. The voice we once had that Britain was going somewhere; that we were on a path to greater security, has disappeared.
Much of this can be attributed to Brexit and the requirement for a change of focus by the government to deliver it. As I said in March, Brexit being prioritised over all other manifesto commitments was a mistake. We have lost anyone who actually cares about what happens to the average voter in this country.
People who “rejected austerity” only did so because the Tories rejected them by not telling them what it does to their wallets and to their life chances. They things looked bleak from the start of the election, with the grand inspiration being “vote for me, and I’ll give ruining this country my best shot”.
The last time we had anything remotely inspiring from the May administration was her flagship announcement of new grammar schools. This pretty much only served to attract positive comments from rational minds like Peter Hitchens, that barometer for what the average voter in this country thinks…
If you want to see what vision delivers, look at the Scottish result under a liberal Tory, Ruth Davidson. Look at the result in 2015 for David Cameron, having displayed to the young that he sufficiently cared about them.
What we need to see from here is a return to a vision of government – one which appeals to working people (i.e. not Leave voters) and to young people again. One which is liberal.
One of the ways you can do that is to stop chasing the votes of people who are simply never going to vote for Conservative, whose hearts you’ll never win because they love what you’re delivering as a main priority, but don’t really care for you above and beyond that.
When Mrs May rightly resigns, the Conservative Party should return to the values that ran it between 2005 and 2016. It might just win the upcoming election if it does.