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By Tim Montgomerie
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At the heart of ConservativeHome's Strong and Compassionate project is the idea that the party cannot just be about the creation of wealth. We must also be clear that the prosperity we will help to create will be a prosperity that everyone enjoys. We need to make it clear that our priority for tax relief is the lower-paid strivers. We also need to make it clear that we will ensure pensioners and others who depend upon the safety-net don't fall dangerously behind as the rest of the nation prospers. We need to address the reality that blue collar wages are stagnant. In America they haven't risen for forty years. The contours of the blue collar vote were revealed in recent polling undertaken by Lord Ashcroft.

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A new group is formally launched today that aims to think deeply about our Party's blue collar message. It has three core beliefs:

  1. The Conservative Party is at its strongest when it reaches out to voters of all backgrounds
  2. The Conservatives need the support of blue collar voters to achieve an overall majority
  3. The Conservatives must reward ordinary hard working voters who take responsibility for their own lives.


The group already has the support of 63 Tory MPs:

  1. Stuart Andrew MP
  2. Steve Baker MP
  3. Julian Brazier TD MP
  4. Sir Peter Bottomley MP
  5. Robert Buckland MP
  6. Aidan Burley MP
  7. Douglas Carswell MP
  8. Stephen Crabb MP
  9. Christopher Chope MP
  10. David T.C. Davies MP                 
  11. Philip Davies MP
  12. Nick de Bois MP
  13. George Eustice MP
  14. Graham Evans MP
  15. Mark Field MP                  
  16. Sir Roger Gale MP
  17. John Glen MP
  18. James Gray MP                 
  19. Damian Green MP
  20. Matthew Hancock MP
  21. Gordon Henderson MP                 
  22. George Hollingbery
    MP
  23. Eleanor Laing MP                 
  24. Dr Julian Lewis MP
  25. Jack Lopresti MP                 
  26. Jonathan Lord MP
  27. Peter Luff MP      
  28. Karen Lumley MP     
  29. Anne Main MP
  30. Paul Maynard MP
  31. Jason McCartney MP        
  32. Karl McCartney MP
  33. Stephen McPartland MP    
  34. Esther McVey MP   
  35. Stephen Metcalfe MP 
  36. Nigel Mills MP            
  37. Anne-Marie Morris MP       
  38. James Morris MP        
  39. Stephen Mosely MP
  40. David Mowat MP
  41. Brooks Newmark MP
  42. David Nuttall MP     
  43. Matthew Offord MP   
  44. Eric Ollerenshaw MP
  45. Neil Parish MP      
  46. Andrew Percy MP
  47. Christopher Pincher MP                
  48. Simon Reevell MP
  49. Andrew Robathan MP
  50. Laura Sandys MP 
  51. Andrew Selous MP
  52. Alec Shelbrooke MP   
  53. Henry Smith MP    
  54. Mark Spencer MP
  55. John Stevenson MP
  56. Desmond Swayne TD MP                 
  57. Justin Tomlinson MP               
  58. Martin Vickers
    MP                 
  59. Robin Walker MP
  60. Angela Watkinson
    MP                 
  61. Mike Weatherley MP
  62. James Wharton MP
  63. The Rt Hon Sir George Young MP

One of the interesting things about that list is the way it defies all traditional pigeon holes. It brings together frontbenchers and backbenchers. Uber-loyalists and rebels. Traditionalists and modernisers.

Screen Shot 2012-11-01 at 08.25.29Clark Vasey is the instigator of the group and another key player is Philip Davies MP. John Stevenson, Tory MP for Carlisle is Chairman of the Advisory Group. He issued this statement:

“Blue Collar Conservatives is a great initiative. This demographic is incredibly important to the conservative vote and there is a great need for the party to appeal to these voters at the next election. Blue Collar Conservatives make up a substantial part of my electorate in Carlisle and the Conservative Party has to have policies and values which appeal to and resonate with them. We need to support hard working people and families in order to retain and win the key seats which will produce a majority in 2015.”

I wish the group well.

> You can read more about Blue Collar Conservatism on the group's new website and follow it on Twitter.

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