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Louise Burfitt-Dons: It’s time for the Tories to target a new type of female voter

Burfitt-Dons LouiseLouise Burfitt-Dons is a Conservative Party Activist on the Candidate’s List. Learn more of her initiatives visit and follow her on Twitter.

Despite the changes in social and workforce behaviour over the past fifty years, the innate conservative drives of women have surely remained the same.  Whether running a Footsie 500 company or working the night shift in a call centre, we’re still the nesters and relationship builders. So are we taking advantage of new modes in attracting female voters?

Labour has monopolised this area of the electorate for far too long, from the first National Women’s Day in 1909, which was a socialist political initiative, to the second 20-year wave of feminism which began in the 1960s. Somehow, women’s matters have always been synonymous with left-wing thinking. But should it be that way anymore?

The debate has been mostly about the equal pay and political representation issue. Apt for the time. But so much so that during the Cool Britannia Blair era of the 1990s, married women who didn’t work full-time were made to feel inferior and dated. The Left propaganda depicted the conservative woman as either patronised into subservience (brain-dead) or indulged and icily supercilious (spoilt). Neither is a flattering picture, nor were they or are they remotely accurate.

Now is the time to set that record straight The majority of conservative voters who happen to be women tend to be pragmatic, realistic, family-friendly, perspicacious, and - if you consider putting the needs of their husbands, children or dependent relatives ahead of their own gratification and ego if and when the time calls for it – super smart. In this way the MAHM The group Mothers at Home Matter, which wants the Government to tax families on the basis of household, rather than the individual, have a strong point. They need support.

The  push for equality on all fronts has undoubtedly meant advancement for women in some areas, but not all. The pace and competition of City life during a recession is not for every female temperament, but a domestic/home-based work option to fit in with children is no longer a foregone option. Maybe because of this, like lost treasure, more traditional behaviour patterns regarding family life are prized and on the return. And women are driving it.

Even UKIP is benefiting.  Recently YouGov’s Stephan Shakespeare, suggested women have played a major part in their recent surge in popularity. Is it that Farage’s old fashioned swashbuckling approach invokes reminiscence of apple orchards and 1960s home life? Or is his rhetoric over immigration (less school places, longer hospital queues and housing pressures) just playing up to female insecurities? 

Boris Johnson’s recent article clearly pointed out some of the problems facing the UK –"short-termism, inadequate management, sloth, low skills, a culture of easy gratification and under-investment in human and physical capital and infrastructure". These shortcomings display how badly we need a return to core Conservative family values. Encouraging women’s flexibility over working practices is key to this. Home is no longer a drab place, where sandwiches are cut and washing hung. It’s also where children are happiest and healthiest, were thousands of GDP boosting business ideas are dreamed up and started out on, where internet-savvy workers earn their living. It’s eco-friendly, community-restoring, efficient. And cool.

So the time is now ripe for a change in the way we profile female voters. The Conservative party should be their party of choice: hard on crime, strong on education, valuing those who work hard, and want to get on–and that includes stay at home mothers.  They also serve who only stand and wait.


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