Here at The Nopebook, we believe firmly in educating people about politics so that they can make free and informed political choices. This post is part of our Politics 101 series, where we aim to equip people with the information they need to make sound political decisions.
The Conservative Party is the current governing party in the UK, and have been in power since the 2010 general election. Currently their government is supported by the Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland as they did not secure enough votes for a majority government in the 2017 election.
A Brief History
Founded in 1834 and colloquially known as the ‘Tories’, the Conservative party is the oldest political party in the United Kingdom that’s still standing. Prime Ministers from the Conservative party led Britain for fifty-seven years of the twentieth century, including Winston Churchill (1940–45, 1951–55) and Margaret Thatcher (1979–90).
Theresa May has been a member of Parliament for Maidenhead since 1997, and was elected leader of the Conservative Party (and therefore Prime Minister of the United Kingdom) in July 2016. She was a member of the Shadow Cabinet from 1999 to 2010, and from 2002 to 2003 was the first female Chairman of the Conservative Party. May was appointed Home Secretary in May 2010 and became the longest-serving Conservative Home Secretary for over a century. According to her website, some of the main issues she campaigns for include the NHS, local train services, school places, local businesses and broadband.
The Conservative party has a plan to move “forward together” to create a “stronger Britain”. Their main objectives are to:
- Create a “strong economy built on sound public finances,” with a “new deal for ordinary, working people” to give them a “decent living wage”.
- To get the “best possible deal for Brexit” and create a “strong and stable union”.
- Continue to “bring down the deficit” so we are able to “live within our means”.
- Create “more good school places” and end the “ban on selective schools”.
- Confront the “gender pay gap, racial disparity, the stigma of mental health and disability discrimination”.
- “Exceptional healthcare” and “homes for all”, as well as “dignity and protection in old age” for the elderly.
- Protection for “people’s data online, backed by a new data protection law”.
Who do they appeal to?
Demographics that voted for the Conservative party in the 2017 general election were typically:
- Over the age of 35 (between 33% and 61% aged 35 to 65+ voters, versus 27% aged 18 to 34 voters)
- Both male and female (44% male and 43% female voters)
- Slightly more AB and C1 social grade than C2 and DE social grade (between 44% and 47% AB/C1 and between 38% and 45% C2/DE)
Demographics that voted for the Conservative party in the 2015 general election were typically:
- Over the age of 35 (between 35% and 47% aged 35 to 65+ voters, versus 27% to 33% aged 18 to 34 voters)
- Both male and female (38% male and 37% female voters)
- Own or have a mortgage on their home (39% to 46% of voters versus 18% to 28% social and private renting voters)
- White (39% of voters versus 23% of all BME voters)