The Tories want to back a winner. But they don’t know how to win | Rafael Behr

Neither of the main parties can expect traditional voters to return ‘home’ in an election. They need to learn the art of coalition

Two primal impulses are driving the Tory leadership contest: the desperate hunt for an election winner, and morbid fear of an election. Any tension between them is meant to be resolved by a Brexit miracle: the new prime minister releases Britain from European bondage on 31 October, and a thankful nation flings itself into outstretched Conservative arms.

It is always a mistake to expect gratitude from electorates. Voters see political pledges as a contract, not a favour, and they quickly move on to new demands. Labour’s victory in 1945 is the benchmark. If Winston Churchill couldn’t bank a VE day dividend at the ballot box, there isn’t much prospect of Boris Johnson getting one for some rickety Brexit bodge job.

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Source : The Tories want to back a winner. But they don’t know how to win | Rafael Behr