Skip to main content

Bright Blue has today 4th of May launched a manifesto for green conservatism. To win big, Theresa May must make a bold, positive offer to liberal Britain, including on the environment.

The greatest electoral challenge for the Conservative Party at the upcoming General Election comes from their left flank, not the right: the Liberal Democrats in Southern England, Labour in the North and Midlands, and the SNP in Scotland. To win a big majority, Theresa May must reassure Remain voters that she has a liberal, outward-looking vision for Britain as it leaves the EU.

Recent Bright Blue polling found that protecting and improving the environment is popular among all Conservative voters, both those who voted Leave and those who voted Remain. But environmental policies are particularly popular among Conservatives that voted to Remain.

In the Green conservatism manifesto Bright Blue is making a number of recommendations, including:

  • Air pollution should be tackled through an expansion of low emission zones across English cities and a targeted diesel scrappage scheme for the oldest cars in polluted areas;
  • The UK should continue to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to tackle climate change;
  • Britain’s remaining coal-fired power stations should be phased out by 2023 at the latest;
  • The main environmental protections that derive from the EU should at least be maintained after Brexit; and
  • Improved grants for farmers to incentivise tree planting should be a priority for Britain’s domestic agricultural policy once the UK has left the EU.

Commenting, Sam Hall, senior researcher at Bright Blue, said:

“Unlike at the last election, UKIP is now weak, and its voters’ desire to have Brexit implemented is seeing many already switch their allegiance to the Conservatives. As a result, the most serious electoral obstacles to Theresa May winning a large majority in June are to her left, from the Liberal Democrats in Southern England, Labour in the North and Midlands, and the SNP in Scotland. The 2017 Conservative Party manifesto, therefore, must look to the Centre, not to the Right.

“The Conservative Party must reassure voters that Theresa May has a liberal, outward-looking vision for Britain as it leaves the EU. Our polling shows the environment is an issue that is particularly important to the voters of liberal Britain, and so it should be a part of the Conservatives’ proposition.”

Notes:

You can read the manifesto here

http://green.brightblue.org.uk/blog/2017/5/4/a-manifesto-for-green-conservatism