by Benedict Surtees
Since the General Election, assessments of the Conservative Party’s campaign have tended to centre on the party’s failure to secure a parliamentary majority. This focus isn’t especially surprising: as ConservativeHome’s own review of the campaign stressed, Conservatives enjoyed a number of advantages during the campaign that made the inconclusive result as puzzling as much as disappointing.
Nonetheless, in examining the Party’s election campaign it is important that the significant successes achieved by the Party are not obscured by the wider failure to win an outright parliamentary majority.
CCHQ’s own assessment of the election campaign has highlighted the Conservatives’ failure to make significant inroads amongst public sector workers, ethnic minorities and voters in Scotland. Despite falling short with some sections of the electorate, the party did however make significant progress amongst one vital group of voters, namely aspirant, blue-collar voters in the South and Midlands.
While the General Election saw Labour hold key Tory targets such as Hammersmith, Stirling and Bradford West, huge swings saw tougher prospects such as Cannock Chase, Dover and North West Leicestershire wrenched from Labour. That the Conservatives emerged as the largest single party after 6th May can, in large part, be put down to the Party’s success (driven by local as well as national campaigns) amongst this critical section of the electorate.