Western politics is no longer being characterised by the old left-right ideological divide between capital and labour. It is instead defined increasingly around identity issues, many of which are shaped by values.
However, having won over many working-class constituencies on cultural issues, the question is whether centre-right parties can keep them while they appeal to more progressive voters in erstwhile safe metropolitan seats. It’s a tough balancing act. What can Liberals, Republicans and Tories do for working-class voters in Townsville, Youngstown and Blyth Valley? How will they reconcile the free marketeer and more paternalistic factions of their parties?
How does the energy transition shape the electoral dynamics across the western world? Could the process of decarbonising the economy further hurt conservative prospects in former safe seats, where high-income constituencies are embracing the net zero emissions agenda? Or could climate change mitigation help centre-right parties appeal to more working class and lower-middle income groups, who will pay higher prices up and down the energy chain?