Matthew Goodwin is Associate Professor at the University of Nottingham, and an Associate Fellow at Chatham House
The recent history of the Conservative party has been dominated by its inability to secure a parliamentary majority. By the next election, it will be almost a quarter of a century since a Conservative leader walked into Downing Street as a Prime Minister secure in his or her Parliamentary foundation. Indeed, it is even a stretch to describe the 92-97 Major Government in these terms.
Over the past thirty years modern one-nation Conservatism, Euro-sceptic British nationalism, neo-Thatcherism and progressive Conservatism have each been tried. Electorally, they have all fallen short. This could be misfortune or circumstantial, but the deeper evidence suggests something structural. How can the Conservatives become a majority party once more?
Clearly, no one dataset provides all the answers. But a new survey commissioned by the Extremis Project highlights both the challenge and the dilemma facing the centre-right. Working with the polling agency YouGov, we surveyed 1,725 adults online, and shortly after the close of the Olympics. The figures we report are weighted, and representative of British adults, aged 18 and above.