He said at conference that: “I’d be very surprised if I were not Conservative leader by ‘26. Very surprised.” Even if he was joking (and he insisted he wasn’t, at first), that’s the sort of jest that’s never entirely a jest.
Over the last 50 years of British political history, there have been precisely two occasions when the established order was challenged and defeated: the Thatcher revolution, and Brexit. In both instances, the agent of change was the Conservatives.
His greatest success was to make the Conservatives more conservative, but he does not have the gifts needed to sustain a rival party.
Without him, the disaffected right lacks the profile, the programme, or the machine to capitalise on the Conservatives’ weaknesses.
The evidence from the local elections is not that the voters are abandoning the Tories to back Reform or Ukip , but parties of the centre and the left. Their situation is bad, but it can be made worse.
The may do so by concentrating on “the unsexy stuff that people care about”, which include dog mess, potholes and parking.
Should conservative parties pursue liberal-minded centrist support or compete against far-Right populists for working-class voters?
Such votes as there are to the Conservatives’ right at the next election will coalesce around the Perennial Pretender, under whatever standard, or not at all.
From the short-lived National Party to the astonishing success of the Empire Free Trade Crusade, the 20th Century saw plenty of attempted revolts on the right.
Netanyahu’s new government is relied upon a motley crew of extremists. Britain must avoid a similar fate under proportional representation.
Warmed-over Thatcherism and self-serving, Lib Dem-flavoured constitutional reform talk is no foundation for a breakthrough.
If we don’t avoid the bear traps, we will face another attack from a new ‘son of UKIP’ force that could unwittingly hand power to a Labour-led coalition.
Faragist liberatarians wouldn’t have the right message to seize the moment – but Dominic Cummings is a different story.
The Environment Secretary, in charge of the seven-year transition from the Common Agricultural Policy, prefers to do good by stealth.
The UKIP leader spotted the opportunity to attack the pious Establishment from a reactionary rather than a progressive direction.