First published: 13 June 2006One of the chief areas where David Cameron has attempted to ‘rebrand’ the image of the Conservative Party is regarding women. This is unsurprising. The decline of support for the Tory party among women has been its single biggest loss of electoral support in the last two decades.For most of the 20th century women were an electoral bastion of the Conservative party. From when women first won the vote in 1918 until the 1990s, they systematically voted in higher proportions for the Tories than did men. However this lead gradually eroded during the second half of the 20th century. From the 1990s onwards a higher proportion of women than men began to vote ‘left’ – i.e. for Labour rather than the Tories. This ran in parallel with the development in the US where more women than men now vote Democrat than Republican.
First published: July 1995 Since the Second World War the position of women in society has progressively advanced. The driving force of this was the mass entry of women into the workforce. But its consequences spread into all spheres of society – the education system, rights to divorce, abortion and contraception, equality legislation, legal, economic and property rights and the massive expansion of social provision via the welfare state. Today women face the first sustained attempt to roll back these gains, not by driving women out of the workforce, but by dismantling the welfare state.
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