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Keywords:

  • Parliamentary Conservative Party;
  • social background ‘A’ List;
  • David Cameron;
  • candidate selection;
  • modernisation

Abstract

In the light of the recent controversy over Andrew Mitchell's alleged ‘pleb’ comments to police officers and Nadine Dorries’ characterisation of David Cameron and George Osborne as ‘arrogant posh boys, this article examines the social composition of the parliamentary Conservative Party. It looks at previous attempts to widen the social base of the PCP and analyses the effect of Cameron's priority or ‘A’ list of candidates on the composition of the 2010 PCP. The article asks whether the perception that the Conservatives are the party of the rich has damaged the party's electoral appeal and if so what can be done to rectify the situation.