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School of Politics and International Relations

New members flood U.K.’s Conservatives, yanking the party right


The entire Conservative grass roots has grown increasingly exasperated by the government’s failure to deliver Brexit and become even more hard-line of late, but new members have helped push the party right. Nearly 80 percent of those who joined since 2017 support a no-deal Brexit, compared with 60 percent from before 2015, according to research by Tim Bale, a Politics Professor at Queen Mary University of London.

“Some of those with less strident views on the issue may have left the party only to be replaced by Brexiteer-ultras,” Professor Bale wrote, analyzing those survey results. “That, of course, is democracy. But it’s also bloody good news for Boris Johnson.”

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