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Opinion
Adrian Wooldridge

We’re Witnessing the Hollowing Out of the Tory Party

For all its electoral successes since 2010, the UK Conservative Party has been rotting from within. It must be willing to make broader structural reforms.

Uh oh.

Uh oh.

Photographer: OLI SCARFF/AFP

UK Prime Minister Liz Truss made “disruption” the theme of her conference speech on Wednesday. The first thing that needs to be disrupted is the party that made her leader.  

Britain’s Conservative Party is the most successful political party in the history of Western democracy. It won the most votes in 17 of the 26 general elections it fought in the 20th century, and, though it hit an electoral dry spot between 1997 and 2010, it arguably set the economic agenda of the Tony Blair and Gordon Brown administrations. Since the party’s foundation in 1834, it has provided the surest path to Downing Street, with only four of the 22 men and women who have led the party failing to become prime minister.