Dave's Friends in the North - Episode 2

Logo for Dave's Friends in the North - Episode 2

Anne McElvoy examines whether the Conservatives can shake off their southern image in order to win a general election. As a native north-easterner, Anne remembers the animosity toward the Conservative Party in the north during the Thatcher era. But now the Tories have set their sights on a revival in the north as a means of clinching an election victory. In this programme, Anne asks why Cameron's Tories need the north. She argues that it goes beyond a blunt electoral need to win back seats held under Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s. Cameron wants to be a One Nation Tory, so this is also a matter of culture and credibility. But is forging a One Nation party a losing battle, particularly for a leader based firmly in a metropolitan elite? Or could he emulate that other well-heeled public school southerner, Harold Macmillan, who used his Stockton seat as a launchpad to power by identifying with the north? Interviewees include William Hague, Michael Gove, Alan Duncan, Hazel Blears, Nick Clegg and Professor John Curtice.