• Conservative party;
  • social policy;
  • David Cameron;
  • House of Lords;
  • House of Commons;
  • public opinion

Social policy is of key importance to contemporary society, accounting for two thirds of public expenditure and, through provision such as the NHS, pensions, benefits, schools, universities and social care, touching on the lives of much of the population on a daily basis. It has also been one of the areas where the Conservative party have sought to change their image, and to some extent policies, under David Cameron. Drawing upon a range of evidence, including interviews with more than ten per cent of the House of Commons and the House of Lords, this article examines the potential challenges for a Conservative government of either stance, focusing on the extent of possible support for the Conservatives' approach to social policy amongst three key groups: the public, MPs, and members of the House of Lords.