The Conservative Party’s stunning victory on Thursday was built on the votes of a very different electorate. But who are this New Majority? And what do they now want from government?
Two organisations that have already focused their work on this demographic are Public First and the Centre for Policy Studies. Today, they are announcing a ground-breaking partnership to further explore the priorities of these lower-middle-class and working-class voters, and develop new policy ideas in response.
Public First is a leading policy and strategy consultancy, which has long specialised in understanding those voters neglected by Westminster. Its co-founder, James Frayne, was the first to argue that the only way that Tories could obtain their first sizeable majority in three decades was by taking these voters seriously. Its other co-founder, Rachel Wolf, co-authored the victorious Conservative manifesto, which put the needs of such voters front and centre.
The Centre for Policy Studies is Britain’s leading centre-right think tank, voted by Conservative MPs as the most influential in Westminster. Its recent policy work has focused on spreading opportunity and ownership more widely, for example by concentrating tax cuts on low-paid workers by raising the National Insurance threshold; expanding home ownership; and levelling up Britain’s towns and cities. Its Director, Robert Colvile, was also a co-author of the Conservative manifesto.
This joint project will focus on developing centre-right solutions to the problems it identifies, including examining how to make the benefits system fairer for those who need to turn to it. Rachel Wolf will also be working on a separate project for the Centre for Policy Studies on what the kind of high-risk, high-reward research agency proposed in the manifesto might look like.
James Frayne said: “We know that these key groups massively swung towards the Tories last week. We now need to get a much better picture of what they want over the next five years – and few in Westminster come close to understanding them at all.”
Robert Colvile said: “Our mantra at the CPS has been the need to show how free-market policies can help hard-working families in their everyday lives. It was gratifying to see so many of our ideas make it into the Conservative manifesto – but there is still so much more to be done.”
Rachel Wolf said: “The manifesto showed a clear direction of travel for this Government. We hope to develop further ideas which will make a demonstrable difference in the communities the Conservatives need to serve – right across the UK.”
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Date Added: Tuesday 17th December 2019