The coalition challenge for Theresa May (and her successor)

The irony at the heart of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership is the mismatch between his sources of popularity and his achievements as leader.

Perhaps his greatest source of popularity is the perception as a man of principle. (One that I disagree with given my own experience as a constituent, but one clearly many people passionately hold.)

Yet perhaps his greatest achievement is to have kept together in a large coalition people with extremely disparate views – particularly on immigration and on Europe. Despite frequent critical noises about immigration and a long record of backing Tory Euro-sceptics on Europe he has managed to outdo Tony Blair for pragmatic triangulation by keeping many staunch supporters of freedom of movement and of the European Union within the Labour coalition. And much to the frustration of many Liberal Democrats.

However, he is not the only party leader having to do coalition building. As research by Jonathan Mellon and Christopher Prosser published last year shows, there’s is a coalition on the right which is at the heart of Theresa May’s leadership.

Mellon and Prosser found that people at the liberal end of the liberal-authoritarian perspective tend to favour policies that promote fairness and equality. But those at the authoritarian end are split: those better off tend to oppose such policies, those least well off tend to support them. That’s the underlying tension between the vacillation in the Conservative Party’s current approach – sometimes talking up policies to improve equality and promote fairness and then frequently recoiling to traditional comfort zones with very different outcomes.

The days of Conservatives trying to appeal to environmentally conscious liberals seem long gone; the days of the Conservatives having to struggle to hold together a coalition of voters are still very much here.

One response to “The coalition challenge for Theresa May (and her successor)”

  1. Curbing foriegn workers is one of Corbyns comments. Will Brits take over these jobs? Only if they are paid more and looking after people becomes more positive as a career. The wage cap will have to be removed.
    His eurosceptism ‘ as it is long standing will not change even if it is a falsehood’deep rooted.
    There is the problem .Long standing Labour support comes from families that have voted Labour since their granddads days. Deep rooted. Oh yes they say we do not like this or that policy but we have always be.en Labour ,change comes slowly. The same applies to the Tories we do not agree with this or that policy but we are Tories have been for years’we cannot change. Only if disaster happens (bad Brexit) will the change come .
    A reason why we need a core vote. Oh, and by the way, anybody who disagrees with our policies etc, should be encouraged to stay and change the party for the better,not leave.

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