The Foreign Secretary has lots going for him, but he might find it very hard indeed to win the prize that he covets.
Far from Notting Hill
Raab, Badenoch, Sunak, O’Brien, Eustice, Frazer and Tugendhat should all be more senior and more visible.
With the stakes as high as they are, the Tories need to throw the kitchen sink at the Opposition to drag themselves ahead in the polls.
Do they become the party of the provincial working class and lower middle class? Or do they fight to maintain their status as the party of the affluent middle class?
“We’re badly trailing in the polls. Corbyn’s up and you’re down. You hired me to get things done and tell you how I see it. Here goes.”
There are many seats in London that are also C1/C2 heavy: it is just that they are outer London seats.
James Frayne: Ten key points about the lower middle class, provincial, home-owning voters who decide elections
C1/C2 voters are hugely important in raw numerical terms. They make up 52 per cent of the electorate in England.
James Frayne: No, lifting the pay cap isn’t a priority for voters. Ministers should follow the evidence.
Indicating higher taxes, pledging potentially massive costs on retired people and raiding middle class welfare all played in the election result.
James Frayne: The problem wasn’t too great a focus on the Just-About-Managings. It was that there wasn’t enough.
Party strategists should not overlook the obvious: that without locking down the provincial lower middle class it’s extremely difficult to secure a majority.
James Frayne: Back to my case. More reasons why Johnson should become the next Tory leader by acclaim.
New polling shows he’s still the public’s top choice – significantly higher than Ruth Davidson in second and much higher than David Davis in third.
He isn’t perfect – and acclamation isn’t the ideal method. But the Conservatives face a crisis and must take action accordingly.
James Frayne: Voters want a brutal response to terrorists, but aren’t clear on the best way to combat extremism
Fears that the public are shifting towards aggressive, populist cultural policies targeted at Muslims are misfounded.
Other than saying, “the state should stay out of things”, they haven’t had much to say. This must change. They need to set out how they’d do things better.
Over the last year, I’ve set out a number of policy ideas designed to appeal to lower middle class voters. Here are some of them.
Those looking to find what she really stands for may one day get an answer. But the point for the here and now is: she seeks to dominate the mainstream.