Nick Timothy has penned an honest and reflective piece about the Tory election boorach.
It can’t have been easy to write less than a week on from defeat and his departure from Downing Street. The most important point he makes is substantive. Theresa May abandoned the One Nation vision she sketched out on the doorstep of Number 10 upon becoming Prime Minister. It was a blueprint for a modern conservatism that believed in markets but didn’t worship them, that championed liberty but also the freedom to take advantage of its opportunities. It was a communitarian Toryism halfway between Burke and Berlin — the kind of politics advocated by Robert Halfon, sacked by the PM in an apparent effort to make sure she had alienated absolutely every last person who ever rated her.
But Nick also raises the issue of campaigning and provides some insight into the thinking that went on behind the scenes. Everyone was convinced the Tories were heading for a comfortable majority – Lynton Crosby reckoned 60, the curiously employable Jim Messina modelled it at 92. This is fair enough. Almost everyone planned for a Tory majority (I expected 90ish pre-‘dementia tax’, 50ish post) so it’s hard to fault the campaign for this. But it does suggest that either the strategists were misreading the numbers or the numbers were wrong.