Conservative Diary

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Fiscal conservatism is key to uniting the Tory coalition

In the November survey of ConHome readers we asked people to identify the extent to which they identified with various strands of conservatism. People were asked 'What kind of Conservative are you?' and invited to score themselves against nine descriptions of conservatism on a scale of 1 to 10. The resulting averages are below:

A fiscal conservative who wants less public spending and a balanced budget: 8.57

A supply-side Conservative who wants lower taxes and less regulation: 8.46

A libertarian Conservative who wants less government in all walks of life: 8.29

A compassionate Conservative who wants to build up the family, reform welfare and see school choice for every parent: 7.95

A Eurosceptic Conservative: 7.88

A social Conservative who supports marriage and traditional values: 7.57

A law and order Conservative who believes that prison works and in zero tolerance policing: 7.48

A Unionist Conservative who wants England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to stay together: 7.12

A hawkish Conservative who supports military action against despotic and dangerous regimes: 5.20

I am not surprised that people most identified with the economic definitions of conservatism. I am interested in the high marks given to both libertarianism and compassionate conservatism. I hope that libertarians recognise that public policy has an important enabling role in building up the family, local schools and welfare-to-work in order to deliver a more independent and self-supporting citizenry.

I had expected Euroscepticism to score more highly and perplexed at why 'law and order Conservatism' came in at just number seven.

The party's increasing ambivalence about the Union is reflected in the lowish rating for Unionism although it's very clear in the top half.

It looks like hawkishness may be pretty unpopular at the moment. Any action against "despotic and dangerous regimes" by a Conservative Prime Minister could cause splits in the Tory coalition.  That 5.20 rating doesn't surprise me but does disappoint me given how dangerous our world is becoming.  

Tim Montgomerie


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