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In Cumbria, they don’t count Labour votes – they weigh them. Or at least they did. Trudy Harrison’s victory in Copeland looks to be the first sign that there are no no-go areas for the Conservative Party any more. Labour support is being eroded by worries over what Jeremy Corbyn would mean for working people in traditional industries such as the nuclear industry at Sellafield and in the shipyards of Barrow and Furness. The next few months and years will determine whether this is just a blip for the left, or the start of a fundamental political realignment in our country.

Few doubt on the morning of June 9th that we will see tens of seats turn blue, some for the first time in living memory. Towns and cities where the identities of generations revolved around opposing and protesting Conservative Governments will this year be voting for one. Commentators and Cabinet Ministers alike will announce that there is a new party of the ‘working class’.

But yet it won’t be entirely true. For every voter swayed by this Government’s plans for a better future, there is one simply voting against the alternative, holding their nose as they put a cross in the box. It’s true that Theresa May can win this election simply by having answers to people’s fears, but by recognising their hopes and ambitions she can change our politics for a generation.

The past seven years have been good for working families. For tens of thousands of people, right to buy has meant home ownership is now in reach. The introduction of the National Living Wage will mean millions of people are earning more and, with income tax cut for 26 million people, keeping more of their money as well. It is hard to deny that, for the Conservative Party, aspiration is on the agenda. But acknowledging the barriers to opportunity has never been a strong suit. Many still aren’t convinced that modern conservatives are truly invested in improving the lot of ordinary people.

For that reason, on public services and on social justice, May has had a harder time of winning trust. Although the gap has been almost closed in recent weeks, the fact that a party that would crash our economy polls well on the NHS should be cause for concern. For all the work David Cameron did to fumigate the Conservative Party and rid it of a reputation for nasty elitism, it still isn’t a natural choice for so many former Labour voters for whom the key political issues are public services and wages.

From the prison system to social care, our aged institutions are crying out for radical modernisation. As the Prime Minister has so often reminded those on the opposition benches, the answers cannot all be about money. But the false smear that this Government is underfunding our NHS and leaving the cupboards bare for communities across the country is sticking. It is difficult to convince people that a Conservative plan for innovation and improving choice will leave them and their families better off. Labour won’t always be in its current dire straits, and when future elections are fought on these issues, the Conservatives will be expected to defend our record on this.

For this General Election to be anything other than a peak in a cycle of political boom and bust, May must combine the economic pragmatism that she is already championing, emphasising the growth of markets whilst being unafraid to tweak them in the favour of consumers, along with a compassionate programme of social reform that seeks to change the country, not just stabilise it.

A parliamentary majority will give this Government the mandate it needs to be bold, and ignoring the opportunities to mend our creaking welfare state would be neither good policy nor good politics. The future success of our Party depends on Theresa May calling upon her One Nation instincts, championing an optimistic Conservative vision for our public services and for the welfare state. If she succeeds, she has the potential to put Labour out of power for a generation and make her lead with working class voters a permanent revolution.

Gabriel Gavin is member of Bright Blue. He is a former Labour activist and staffer, before joining the Conservative Party earlier this year. He now works for a national social welfare charity. The views expressed in this article are those of the author, not necessarily those of Bright Blue.