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British Society

Photo of sign that reads "polling station".

Some six months before Theresa May called a surprise general election, The Road to Somewhere was published. In it, David Goodhart argues that the old political divide, between left-wingers and right-wingers, has been superseded. The electorate, Goodhart claims, is now better divided between “anywheres” and “somewheres”.  Peter Wiggins looks at the Goodhart argument in the context of the 2017 general election. Of “Anywheres”, “Somewheres” and “Inbetweeners” According to The Road to Somewhere, roughly 25% of the population are “anywheres” – they are mobile, metropolitan, liberal, tolerant, at home wherever they may be, and wary of group attachment. These voters are likely to be highly educated, and they tend to approve of “mass immigration,” subscribing, as Goodhart puts it, to “progressive …

‘We have created the new common ground, and that is why our opponents have been forced to shift their ground…We are told the Social Democrats now see the virtues of capitalism, competition and the customer. We have entered a new era. The Conservative Party has staked out the common ground, and the other parties are tiptoeing onto it.’ “The facts? The facts? I have been elected to change the facts!’’ Lady Thatcher was loved, loathed and never ignored. Thatcher can be classed together with David Lloyd George and Clement Attlee as political leaders who sought power with the express intention of changing society, and did so to the best of their ability. Thatcher was reputedly asked what her greatest legacy was and she answered ‘New Labour’. Peter Mandelson, meanwhile, a doyen of New Labour, stated in June 2002, ‘We are all Thatcherites now!’.