It was a strange idea that in the Red Wall seats Labour voters had lent their votes to the Conservatives in 2019. It was an even stranger idea that that meant those voters wanted a Conservative government to behave more like a Labour one.
A vote is a vote. People mean it at the time. They will change at a later election if the party or person they voted for lets them down. In 2019 Conservative voters voted for Conservative ideas and abilities. They wanted levelling up tory style, where government gives people more chances to earn a good living, keep more of their own money, buy a home, get training and education to help them get on in the world. They look for a hand up not a hand out. They did not vote Conservative to have a bigger bureaucracy, more government or higher taxes.
Today in the aftermath of a couple of bad by election results the soul searching by Conservative Ministers should be easy. They should ask why haven’t they yet delivered the lower taxes, the greater freedoms, the better opportunities to start a business, grow a company, own a home and all the other features of a successful growth and prosperity strategy. Why are taxes going up and why is the economy slowing down?
The way to recover is not to double down with Treasury austerity, new taxes and higher taxes. The way to recover is to live the dream, restore the brand – being a Conservative is all about backing people to succeed, getting out of the way of those who can do well and offering appropriate help to those who want to follow them.