Chapter

The Conservatives, social policy and public opinion

Andrew Defty

in The Conservative Party and social policy

Published by Policy Press

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9781847424334
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303718 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847424334.003.0004
The Conservatives, social policy and public opinion

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This chapter provides an assessment of public attitudes to the Conservatives' policies and public opinion. First, it draws on data from British Social Attitudes surveys to assess whether what some have identified as a rightward shift in public attitudes may have created a climate of opinion in which the election of a Conservative government became more likely. It then describes more recent public opinion data to evaluate public attitudes towards Conservative policies in the run-up to and following the 2010 general election. The outcome of the 2010 general election suggested that the public remained to be convinced that the Conservatives were yet ready for government. There is still evidence for a strong and enduring public commitment to state provision in a range of sectors, which calls into question the extent of potential support for Conservative policies designed to roll back state provision.

Keywords: Conservative government; social policy; public opinion; public attitudes; 2010 general election; Conservative policies

Chapter.  6356 words.  Illustrated.

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