The Party's Over

The Party's Over:The Rise and Fall of the Conservatives from Thatcher to Sunak

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Today, it is not a question of if, but when? What we are watching is the collapse of the most successful political party in Europe. Despite winning the December 2019 General Election, the parliamentary conservative and unionist party is facing its own demise. It no longer speaks for, or to, the British people. Its leadership has sacrificed the long-standing commitment to the Union to 'Get Brexit Done'. And beyond this, it is an intellectual vacuum, propped up by half-baked doctrine and magical thinking.

Burton-Cartlege's account starts with the Thatcher era, and show that swiftly the party struggled to find a popular vision for the United Kingdom. He charts the flaws an failings of each successive leader, all the way to Sunak. He also examines the state of the membership and shows that they have become increasingly old. Their values have not been adopted by the younger voters, who are unable to share the benefits. Furthermore, the coalition between the countryside and the City interests is under pressure, and the latter is split by Brexit.


  • A masterful account of the long view. Fewer people are benefitting from Conservative policies each decade. The party then has to rely more and more on the fears of older voters for support. Phil Burton Cartledge persuasively explains how the Tories are running out of rope even while appearing to poll so well.

    Danny Dorling, author of Inequality and the 1%
  • As the UK enters its 11th successive year of Conservative majority rule, Falling Down is an important and timely intervention. Burton-Cartledge breaks through the self-referential debates on the left to provide a rigorous and acute analysis of British Conservatism, filling a significant lacuna in left strategic thought. Falling Down should be considered critical reading socialist academics, activists and politicians alike.'

    Grace Blakeley, author of The Corona Crash
  • Falling Down’s autopsy of the Conservative Party is ... a timely one ... an important contribution to the kind of militant political science the left desperately needs.

    Alfie SteerTribune