Yesterday, I gave my thoughts on the revival of the Conservative Party to ‘The National’ the UAE’s leading English language newspaper, in my capacity as Director of Conservative Progress.
“The party wildly overestimated the effect of Brexit in bringing new voters to support us and at the same time underestimated the numbers voting against us whose vote to remain in the EU was a motivating factor,” said Nabil Najjar, a founder of Conservative Progress, a new grouping that hopes to reinvigorate the party’s grass roots. “We need a unifying concept of what being a Conservative is all about. And we need to offer, unlike the last election, a well thought-out manifesto with a core vision.”
Mr Najjar is a veteran of Conservative campaigns in London that saw the Labour-leaning city twice vote in the Conservative Boris Johnson, now foreign secretary, as its mayor.
The party’s challenge is to reshape its campaigns to contest the strength of Labour supporting groups such as Momentum, which enthused millions of first time voters.
“We can’t just rely on a combination of rural, suburban and well-off voters any more,” said Mr Najjar. “Conservatives need to make an impression on voters. We need to build a dialogue street by street with digital campaigns and we need to organise activists to be on the move, making our presence felt where we take on Labour.”