Scratch the surface, and the ‘new’ politics of the red wall looks very much like the old | Gaby Hinsliff
If you blow away the smoke of a culture war, the Tories’ offers on home ownership and jobs are nothing revolutionary
Imagine a family house, with a garden. Nothing fancy, but solid, and cheap enough to feel within reach of an ordinary couple on ordinary wages.
To despairing millennials across much of the south-east, this is the stuff of fairytales, or else ancient history. But there are still corners of Britain where a house like that is yours for less than £130,000 (the price of the average deposit for first-time buyers now in London), where being able to buy your own place, and the security that comes with it, is almost the least of young families’ problems. And herein lies a tale about this week’s elections. Brexit was the tool that ultimately jemmied open doors long closed to the Tories. But the crumbling of the “red wall” may at least in part be the story of Conservatives learning to do well in poorer neighbourhoods with high home ownership; places where wages are low but property still cheap enough that things don’t feel broken, or not as broken as outsiders often think.