It’s been coming for a long time it seems, but it appears the Conservatives are finally slowing down after their huge two year activity binge! Come with Saltcon on a journey to look into Tory activity and the reason it is perceived they are failing.

#1 The Polls

As our own beautiful Poll Tracker shows, the Tories have been steadily declining in the polls, losing a total of 5.79% in national opinion polling since they hit the lofty heights of 37% earlier this term. These polls are calculated by counting legislative activity on /r/MHOC, so the more comments/bills you make the better you’ll probably do (with some voodoo thrown in). So why are the Tories falling in the polls? Are they becoming less active?

Well, not quite. Tyler has explained this as not a decrease in Tory activity, but rather an increase in everyone elses, which makes sense in the circumstance but without the numbers used to quantify activity it is understandable that some are skeptical.

#2 Deputy Leadership Election

Recently the Conservatives hosted a mundane affair known as a Deputy Leadership Election, in this election the fantastic sys_33_error (or w/e) won with a vote share of 70%.

Now if we look at the numbers we can see 17 people voted with zero wastage, nobody knows how many members each party has, but we know the Tories have 36 MPs, so we can assume that roughly 47% of MPs turned out to vote on their new DL and that’s it. We can call this a showcase of a lack of activity but what about previous leadership elections though?

  • July 19 DL Election – 17 votes
  • March 19 Leader Election – 26 votes
  • Feb 18 DL Election – 24 votes
  • Feb 18 Leader Election – 33 votes
  • Jan 18 DL Election – 23 votes
  • Dec 17 DL Election – 28 votes

It appears traditional the the DL Elections get less votes than the Leader ones, but the gap between them is narrowing. We can see a definite trend of decreasing turnout in leadership elections within the Conservative Party, indicative of potential activity issues. We asked party lover lover man /u/InfernoPlato for his thoughts

DL elections voting isn’t the bee all and end all indicator of activity – Especially when you have the election at a boring and exam/holiday ridden time. If anything it’s more a matter of us going through the traditional shift. Old guard leave, new people arrive

#3 Turnout

Commons

This is probably the be all and end indicator of activity, as referenced by IP in the last section. Realistically you can have all the members in the world but if they aren’t turning out, you’ve got a problem. So we’ve looked at the averages for the past few terms:

  • 11th Term Avg – 91.3%
  • 10th Term Avg – 87.9%
  • 9th Term Avg – 91.7%

Nothing particularly damning here, if anything it shows a push towards Commons activity, perhaps indicative of the strength of their renowned whipping system.

Results

So? Are the Tories dying? – Honestly, from an editorial standpoint, I’m going for the fence option and saying yes and no, while /u/bloody-contrary believes it’s cyclical.

All these things are cyclical, I don’t think they’re suffering any more than any other party.

It is clear that the areas the Tories excel in is debating and turning out, the core of MHOC and from a cursory glance at these areas, there appears to be absolutely no change and their activity is strong.

That being said, there is a notable decrease in Internal Party activity and while we can only source data for their elections there may be more scenes of inactivity at various levels. After several scandals with the Whipping Office and quite a number of defections recently it’s clear the party is suffering a limp. Only time will tell as to whether that limp will become infected, or heal completely.

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