Conservatism has no future unless it tackles housing

At the i.

While Margaret Thatcher secured 42 per cent of the youth vote in 1979, Britain’s second female prime minister got less than half that, and to the vast majority of under-40s the party is essentially repulsive,  regarded as the Nasty Party, to use Theresa May’s famous Ratnerism.

A number of factors might explain this, among them the expansion of university education, declining religious belief, the dominance of the Left in education and media, or the way small-c conservatism has lost the narrative on many issues. John McDonnell praises Marx and Lenin, conservatives lament, a doctrine that should have been toxified just as Nazism and its reactionary hinterland were.

How Conservatives go about winning back the young will be a major theme of the conference, but the cost of housing is the most important issue – indeed for Conservatism it is existential. The party depends on older voters in the Green Belt whose homes are their pension fund, yet those same housing regulations make it impossible for most younger people to own their own properties. From the ‘Villa Toryism’ of the late 19th century onwards the party has stayed in power with the support of a property-owning middle class. But without villas, conservatism has no future.

Read it all there

What do you think?

*