With the dust starting to settle on a dramatic General Election, the attention of those within the Conservative party has turned to addressing where it all went wrong.
Fingers were immediately pointed at Theresa May for running a campaign focused on her leadership which did little more than expose the cracks within it.
How, after all, is it possible to reverse expectations of a hundred-seat majority into a hung parliament and minority Government propped up by the Unionists?
We talked to Conservative Councillor for West Putney and Deputy Mayor of Wandsworth Ian Lewer to hear his thoughts.
1. ‘That’ campaign
The Conservatives ran a dreadful campaign, easily the worst I have even been involved with in my 16 years as a party member. We deliberately went after our core vote who duly punished us for taking them for granted, while focusing everything on the fact we thought the public liked Theresa May, sadly the more the public saw of her the less they liked her. In short the Tories brought all their problems on themselves.
2. A stroke of luck
Despite the above, luck was with Labour and against the Conservatives. The terrorism incidents which conventional wisdom assumed would benefit the Tories in fact fell into Labour’s hands exposing May’s record as Home Secretary and decisions on policing numbers as a prime example.
3. The protest vote
The public still wishes to express a protest and voting for Labour was that manifestation.
4. The young vote
On a positive note, the young have at last showed their power and voted, and how they have impacted politics! I don’t like the way many of them voted but I am pleased that they have chosen to do so. As a millennial myself, I understand their concerns (and share many of them) and hopefully this is a shot across the bows to the Conservative Party not to take younger voters for granted.
In Wandsworth and London more widely we took a hammering. We always knew it was going to be hard in London but never on this scale. Loosing Battersea was personally very hurtful, I have been a friend of Jane Ellison for some time and she is truly a great local MP. To only retain Putney by 1,500 is a worrying sign of things to come.