Right-wingers could have beaten Labour if they had worked together, says PopCons leader

Right-wingers could have beaten Labour if they had worked together, says PopCons leader
Georgia Pearce

By Georgia Pearce

Published: 10/07/2024

- 09:44

The Director of Popular Conservatism has said he believed the party would not have faced such a dire result if they had been “absolutely true blue”.

Mark Littlewood said he felt the party needed to “make tough choices” on government spending and pointed out the country’s welfare bill as an area where cuts could be made.

He told GB News: “Conservatism is popular. The Conservative Party might not have been popular at last week's election, but it's my contention, and the contention of my group, that if you actually did what it said on the tin, it's pretty popular.

“We have a first past the post electoral system so quite rightly we measure how many seats each party won, and the Labour Party has won by a landslide.

“But if you were trying to actually work out what was under the skin of voters, what was their intention as they cast a vote, you should look at national vote share. And if you looked at the Conservative vote and the Reform vote and added them together - way too simplistic, I know - that would have comfortably beaten Keir Starmer's Labour Party.

“So the Conservative Party should go back to finding its soul. I don't think it's as grand as that, rediscovering its brand. If you're selling Conservative on the outside of the tin, make sure what's inside the tin is genuinely Conservative.

“Had there been a popular vote count [of seats] the right would have lost. But measuring it from the Conservative Party's perspective, what's staggering is that the Conservative Party didn't even mop up the entirety of the vote on the right.

“Broadly speaking, those on the centre right vote Conservative. It is now a competitive space. The Liberal Democrats and Labour have competed on the centre left - they've never cut an electoral pact or a deal or merged with each other. There may be a non aggression arrangement.

“That’s coming now, I think, to those of us on the centre right. The Conservative Party's proportion of the right wing vote was poor.

“Had the Conservative Party run as absolutely true blue last Thursday, I don't think we would have won the election, but I think we would have won many more than 121 seats.

“Just look at the vote share, we would make a colossal advance. The Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats barely ticked up their vote compared to the last election; a smidgen, I think, in both cases.

“The Conservatives were not leaking votes to Labour or the Lib Dems. There'll always be some people who change their mind. There's a churn over. The big story is we leaked votes to Reform.

“I am not pretending that my plan would have led to a repeat of 2019 where the Conservative Party won with a majority of 80 seats. I'm simply saying my plan would not have led to the Conservatives in danger of slipping into third place and only getting 121.

“First thing is the Conservative Party needs to be conservative again. I think that proposition would have got us more vote share and more seats.

“So, you need to be unambiguously pro Brexit. You need to apologise for the fact that taxes and spending are the highest that we've ever seen in our lifetime.

“You need to be anti regulation, not just in rhetoric, but in action. Unfortunately, after 14 years of Conservative government, we find ourselves in a country that is less Conservative than when the Conservatives first came to power in 2010. That's a very tricky proposition, but there was no apology for it.

“So the Conservatives now need to get back to being a low tax, low regulation party with secure borders and mean it.

“Whenever you ask people, ‘would you like more to be spent on education or the National Health Service or defence?’ everybody says, ‘yes’.

“Very, very few people voluntarily pay more tax than they are liable. Some people choose to do that.

“I think you've got to actually make some tough choices on government expenditure and, frankly, the Conservatives have failed to do any tough decision-making, or trade-offs, over the last five or ten years.

“I would start with welfare. The welfare bill is now so colossal it amounts to, I think, £12,000 or £13,000 per household per year in Britain. I am including the state pensions in that.

“This is absurd if you can't wipe out poverty at that level. So we need to go back to the original Beveridge report and only focus welfare on the people who really need it. There’s a colossal saving.

“I don't really think there's such a thing as the middle. I suppose of the 40 million also voted in Britain you could identify the one man or woman who was the most centrist of the lot, but I don't think you win from there.

“In my lifetime the big Conservative wins have been under Margaret Thatcher in 1979, 1983 and 1987 and under Boris Johnson on an explicit Brexit proposition in 2019.

“You win by being pure, clear and straightforward.”


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