Where are the Mayites?

One thing which has struck me during this general election campaign is the lack of an identifiable set of policies from Theresa May. By this I mean I don’t know what she stands for, other than slogans like ‘strong and stable government’ and ‘no Brexit deal is better than a bad Brexit deal’.

Whether you agreed with them or not, Thatcher and Blair both had strong, identifiable ideologies and a good grasp of what they wanted to achieve in government. Theresa May, on the other hand, seems more bereft of ideas than John Major, who at least managed to come across as likeable, genuine and honest.

There do not seem to be any Mayites, either in her team or the country. The team at the top have contradictory messages, which is odd given that the Conservatives usually run a slick and polished campaign, and no one seems to be particularly enthusiastic about another five years of her leadership. In terms of the electorate, it is not clear who will benefit from the few policies which we do know about, other than perhaps the very rich.

Thatcher was seen by many as nasty but also competent, with policies to benefit a clear and large group of voters who had aspirations to own property and generally get on in life. This appeal spread beyond the core Conservative vote, out into the lower middle class and skilled manual workers. Major on the other hand bumbled about, but was at least a nice chap who liked cricket and warm beer. May is rapidly becoming the worst of both Thatcher and Major – nasty and incompetent – which doesn’t bode well for the party in the election.

If Theresa May wins tomorrow it will be as a result of external factors (e.g. a low turnout amongst Labour votes) rather than any desire to see her continue as Prime Minister. Regardless of how well she does, I expect the knives to come out at Conservative HQ by the end of the year.

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