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Where do British Conservatives go from here?

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08.07.2022

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s resignation from office sets off a race among Conservatives to find his successor. That person will have to solve a problem that is bedeviling conservative leaders worldwide: How can the party build a durable conservative-populist alliance?

The old right-left axis was largely built around economics. Conservative parties wanted more private economic activity and lower government taxation and spending while their left-leaning foes wanted the opposite. This shook out politically in a simple manner: The right typically won the well-to-do; the left won the poor and working classes; and the two did battle in the middle. This was especially true in class-riven Britain, where Conservatives were often the graduates of posh private schools and were so numerous in the established Anglican Church that it has been described as “the Tory Party at prayer.”

That political order is being undone. Much as Democrats in the United States are winning more votes in well-off suburbs, the opposition Labour Party and the center-left Liberal Democrats have been gaining among the upper classes in Britain. This is partly due to the Brexit debate, which pushed even........

© Washington Post


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