First published: Prospectmagazine.co.uk, 2/10/2017
As they gather for conference, the Tories must fight to save their brand
This week’s Conservative Party conference will probably make for a sorry spectacle. The weakness of the prime minister means no end to the atom-splitting effect of Brexit on the Party. The truce that her Florence speech was supposed to bring was gone in a moment. Indeed, it’s hard to see the party as a credible political force in the country, or providing political leadership to its followers—and electoral waverers—while the status quo endures. Worse, if things could be, is that the Conservative Party’s principal brand, managing the economy, is under threat.
Although Jeremy Corbyn assured the Labour conference last week that brand had been destroyed, the latest Yougov polling numbers suggest that the Conservatives still have a 12 per cent lead on “managing the economy in general.” Nevertheless, the brand is certainly under threat from Brexit directly, and indeed indirectly as Brexit could paint the party into a single-issue corner where all its energy is consumed…..Read more: