Great Britain

The Gaukeward Squad and the strange end of class politics

D

avid Gauke was an able cabinet minister whose career was cut short by the last election. He was expelled from the parliamentary Conservative Party because he voted to prevent a no-deal Brexit, and therefore forfeited the right to fight that election as the official Tory candidate. He fought a brave and entertaining campaign as an independent, but lost.

My colleagues at UK in a Changing Europe, the Brexit think tank at King’s College London, recently published an interview with him, in which they asked if he thought that the Conservative Party would return to “the kind of Toryism that existed pre-Brexit”.

His answer was interesting: “I think it can; it certainly can swing back. I think the probability is that it won’t swing back. I think that’s partly driven by the demographics. I think there is a section of society, if you like, that has traditionally voted Left on economic grounds but is now more likely to vote Right on cultural grounds. We’ve seen that, not just in the UK but obviously in the US and elsewhere as well.”

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