GREGOR MACGREGOR'S Letters and Press Releases
Wednesday, August 01, 2001
Let me thank all those people who voted for me at the General Election. They voted Conservative in spite of what has been generally accepted as an appalling national campaign. I am grateful for their support.
The overriding question now is to discover why the Conservatives lost so badly and analyse what needs to be done to ensure a better result next time. The time is apt as there is a leadership campaign being conducted and the new leader will represent the Conservative Party into the next General Election.
Clearly at the General Election, what we were saying was just what core Conservative supporters wanted to hear. However, we failed to win over many other voters who had supported us in the past.
All too often people on the doorstep, whilst being pleased that I had called, were not prepared to commit to voting Conservative. It is now clear that they felt that we were too right wing, too anti-Europe and too interested in running a campaign against asylum seekers.
What they wanted to hear from us was our views on the crisis in the NHS, the state of Education and how we were going to improve Law and Order. They did not like our leader or the image we had created for ourselves. They thought that we were intolerant and uncaring.
Many Conservative supporters, including myself, found the last General Election very difficult to fight. It is impossible to justify the number one issue named by Erewash voters at our meetings being ignored as a campaign subject. Not a single campaigning day was devoted to the issue of the NHS; even the day after Tony Blair was accosted by the wife of a patient outside the hospital where he was suffering.
What sort of Conservative Party do we now want?
In the past, the Conservative Party has always seen itself as the party of government. It has adopted policies, which appeal to the broadest spectrum of the electorate. It has not been dogmatic. In short it has been a broad church and not a narrow sect.
In this coming leadership vote, Conservatives have to look for an image and a set of policies that appeal to the large majority voters who are not Socialist and who believe in keeping what is good about Britain. Tolerance, Independence of Spirit, Rule of Law, Free Enterprise, Protection of the Environment and Equality of Opportunity, both in Education and Health are all things that most of us feel strongly about.
We must look for policies that appeal to people in these areas. We must therefore not just appeal to core Conservative voters, who want policies in other areas. The last election proved that this tactic is a recipe for disaster.
Conservative Parliamentary Candidate 2001, Erewash