Monday, July 15, 2024
HomeElection WatchDolan’s Digest: Back to basics – Sunak’s only chance to dodge Armageddon

Dolan’s Digest: Back to basics – Sunak’s only chance to dodge Armageddon


THE Conservative Party and, specifically, Rishi Sunak continue to bumble their way through an election campaign that is going from one disaster to another. Whether it be poorly announced policies, defections or gambling commission investigations, this has been a masterclass in how not to narrow a significant gap in the polls.

If the surveys are to be believed, the Conservative Party is on the brink of an extinction-level result. The concept of the party that has been in Government for 14 years returning fewer than 100 MPs would be devastating and the chance of former Cabinet Ministers and even the sitting Prime Minister losing their seats is looking possible.

The votes that remain up for grabs are still fairly eclectic and, actually in some corners, certainly not those that would traditionally go to the Tory Party. The young remain disenfranchised by the state of the economy and their movement towards the right of the political compass during the European elections must surely be a slight cause for optimism at Conservative HQ.

Similarly, Muslim voters are clearly concerned about the outlook in the Middle East. The role of these voters in marginal seats cannot be understated and the transition of potentially traditional Labour votes towards independent candidates and others will be crucial in the level of support the Conservative Party receives.

Finally, traditional conservative voters cannot be ignored. It feels like for too long the Tory Party has moved away from its core voters, becoming a party of high tax, high regulation, high immigration and low productivity. In the final days of this campaign, it must aggressively and fervently go back to its roots if it is able to avoid electoral Armageddon.

Fundamentally the party, regardless of its manifesto commitments, must demonstrate its political ideology of old. The notion that Labour will increase taxes seems to have fallen on deaf ears, Sunak and his cabinet must instead explain how they will cut taxes, and how they will improve productivity.  

Rather than unveiling policies that alienate younger people regardless of political identity, such as the poorly handled National Service suggestion, the Tories must tell them how they will improve their lives. This should focus on how they are going to create well-paid, meaningful jobs in robust industries, while offering tax breaks for large companies, and how benefits will be phased out properly to ensure it really does pay to work.

Away from these shores, denouncing the war in the Middle East or at least proclaiming to be a party that would call for an immediate ceasefire would attract traditionally non-Conservative voters into the fold.

Alongside this, it is important that the Tories offer a new vision for immigration, with the current policy platform clearly not working. Ensure that there is a merit-based system for immigration that benefits our economy rather than detracts from it.

This Conservative Party must return to its traditional values and teachings if it is going to avoid wipeout. Becoming the party of low regulation, low intervention and low taxes whilst removing waste and wokery will be key to solidifying support among voters who have ditched Sunak.

With little more than a week to avoid electoral disaster it is clear what needs to be done. Be radical, avoid the status quo message that is clearly not working for anyone and ensure that a positive vision for the country is clear to those they want to vote for them. It is likely too late for any change in the course of this election but, for the future of the Conservative Party, they must at least try.

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Simon Dolan
Simon Dolan
Simon Dolan is a British Entrepreneur.

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