It’s simple: Conservatives gave the people what they wanted

It’s simple: Conservatives gave the people what they wanted, by Adam Creighton. Another original observation on the UK’s earthquake election.

The Conservative Party, which won the biggest majority since 1987, eschewed almost entirely any mention of small government, free markets and lower taxes. Its manifesto stressed getting Brexit done, the menace of Corbyn and increased spending on public services. Privatisation didn’t get a look-in in the 64-page document. The National Health Service, by contrast, the most sacred of Labour legacies, received 45 mentions. …

Free-market economics is inherently internationalist; national borders and trade frictions are a nuisance. For many Britons, Brexit was code for getting immigration under control.

Economists, by and large, advocate high levels of immigration as a way of lifting the living standards of immigrants without undermining the wages of workers in recipient countries. That’s not how most people see it. …

But Labour has shown a genius for unpopularity. Its obsession with niche social issues, such as the rights of trans people, is electoral poison. So is its pro-immigration stance. Corbyn was even proposing to give about two million-plus non-British citizens the vote in a future Brexit referendum, an outrageous proposal for the bulk of people who still think nationality matters. By the time the next UK general election rolls around in 2024, Brexit and Corbyn will no longer be issues but the mainstream’s aversion to bizarre social policies will be.

It’s only taken a decade and multiple “surprising” election results, but even the economics editor is sitting up and taking notice:

The winning political combination, in Australia and the US as much as the UK, would appear increasingly to be social conservatism, including a preference for lower immigration, matched by scepticism of privatisation and deregulation.