Why is the Conservative Party so consistently successful?

1 Sep 2017

If you type "tories are" into Google, the first three suggestions are "scum", "evil” and "Nazis". They are probably one of the most reviled political parties in modern history; in many circles just being called a "Tory" is an insult.


Despite this indication of unpopularity, the Tories have governed the UK for around 56 of the 88 years since 1929, when all adults, male and female were granted the vote; nearly two-thirds of that time. No other political party in the era of modern liberal democracies has managed to dominate for so long.


With another win on the 8th of June (albeit without a self-made majority), an intriguing question is prompted: why have the Tories managed to win so many elections?


Generally, the Conservative Party are incredibly adaptable, with a fairly flexible ideology. They are a leader-influenced party, which means they can make changes quickly. They aren’t democratic, so they don't have to worry about internal democratic decisions from the membership to change themselves. Leaders seem to get chosen a lot quicker and they are a lot more decisive and pragmatic than other parties. 


Members of the Party have never had any say in policy or voting intentions and they've only been able to vote for the leader since 2001 and still to this day hold no rights to remove a leader. As a result, it's not only much quicker to elect a Conservative leader, it's also much quicker to get rid of one.


Class voting in this country has largely disappeared over time. The Conservative Party has always been able to appeal to large numbers of working class people on the basis of patriotism and on delivering economic growth and prosperity.


In recent times they've also taken a strong centrist position and have managed to create an aura of progression and compassion, perhaps contrasting with the old image that sits in the minds of many Labour voters.


Nonetheless, when the Conservatives fail to deliver, things can get very difficult for them.


In 1992, failure to deliver prosperity led to the Labour landslide of 1997. It was only in 2008, when the economy crashed because of the banking crisis, that the Conservatives regained, by default, their economic competence.


However, with the Tory Party being associated with business, there is a belief amongst the electorate that people in business know how to run things; the victory of Donald Trump in last year's presidential election bolsters this perception.


Alongside this, the left has a track record of economic failings. In many people's eyes, a socialist government entails over-spending, over-borrowing and eventual recession. Although we must not kid ourselves, austerity is not the most popular political issue. 


What makes the Tories so electable is their ability to capture the middle ground from the Lib Dems, thereby sucking in the libertarian middle/working- class, while holding the loyalty of the old traditionalist patriots.


The consensus is that no-one else could be trusted with our money and our economy. The Conservatives' versatility and flexible philosophy means they can hoover up votes by putting forward an agenda that appeals to the majority. The perceived competence of the Tories over their left-wing counterparts makes them a safe and choice to the undecided voter looking at their polling card.





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