Don Porter CBE is a former Chairman of the Conservative National Convention, and Alex Le Vey is also a founding member of Conservative Voice.
Conservative Voice was established six years ago to bridge the widening gap between the leadership of the Party and its members and activists around the country. Since then, we have amassed a base of just under 10,000 followers across the UK. We listen to their views and amplify them to the Party’s leadership.
Since the Chequers Plan for our future relationship with the EU was released, there have been numerous surveys to ascertain the views of the Conservative Party membership. All have been consistent, and do not make good reading for No.10. One thing is clear: the membership isn’t happy.
Conservative Voice’s own survey was especially troubling. Hundreds of our followers responded in record time, and it is clear that the discontent with the Chequer’s Plan could have long-term implications for the future success of our Party.
In addition to asking for views on the Chequers Plan, we asked our followers how they voted at the last election and how they would vote next time. Ninety-nine of respondents voted Conservative in 2017, yet when asked how they planned to vote at the next general election 38 per cent said that they would vote for UKIP.
To reiterate, that is one third of our core vote saying that they would vote for a Party that has been cast into relative obscurity rather than vote Conservative. When applied to the total number of votes the Conservative Party secured at the last general election we could potentially lose 4.5 million votes.
Any business faced with losing over a third of its customers should be worried, and the Conservative Party should be too. The implications of losing this number of votes equate to losing dozens of seats all over the country. But it is not too late to restore the Conservative vote and win swathes of new voters at the next election. To do so, we must act now.
Let us not forget that had the referendum of 2016 had been fought on a constituency basis, Leave would have won by a landslide. Nearly 250 Conservative constituencies backed leave with nearly 150 Labour constituencies doing the same. Over the last two years, many polls show that an even greater number of voters want us to leave, and for the Government to get on with making it happen. Put simply, there is a huge opportunity for the Conservative vote to sky-rocket if we stay true to the referendum result.
And we know we can do it. The Prime Minister’s Lancaster House speech was laced with vision and optimism, and greeted with the adulation it deserved. If the Government can return to its vision we can not only deliver the Brexit that our membership wants, but the Brexit that our country is crying out for. If we carry on as we are, the prospect of a Corbyn government will become ever more real.
Under his leadership, the Labour Party has lurched from controversy to scandal on an almost daily basis. The party has never been more divided and large numbers of its own MPs recognise the chaos its policies would inflict on our country. A Corbyn-led Labour Government would leave our country in ruin. Yet we are neck and neck in the polls.
To change the tide the Conservative Party must regain the trust of the electorate by dramatically altering its approach to Brexit. It is time to take action, time to take control.
We at Conservative Voice are calling for two things to happen:
- First, we call on all party activists, members and voters to write to your MP, contact them via social media and encourage your family and friends to do the same. Voice your concerns.
- Second, we urge all our MPs, the Government and the Prime Minister to listen carefully and act now.
The United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union was the biggest vote in our history. The Conservative Party must be trusted to deliver what the people voted for.