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So that’s just over two in five Party member respondents plumping for the Thatcher option, and over one in three backing the May approach.

Readers will draw their own conclusions. Mine is that the response reflects more than nostalgia for the Thatcher era, though there is undoubtedly some of that in the mix.

More pressingly, it demonstrates a residual suspicion among Party members of the Prime Minister’s belief in “the good that government can do”, and instinctive support for “rolling back the frontiers of the state”.

In its rough and ready way, this finding is a sign that May, if she returns to Downing Street on June 9, will have to handle her party’s free marketeers and economic liberals very carefully indeed – regardless of the size of her majority.

Under one in five Party member replies took the view that there is really no divergence of view at all, and that claims to the contrary are media babble.  The majority clearly disagree.

175 comments for: For Party member respondents to our survey, Thatcher’s conservatism has the edge over May’s

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