The people's priorities: recognition, redistribution and conservative hegemony

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The article examines the emergence of the "Red Wall" as a descriptive term deployed in explanations of Labour's electoral collapse and the Conservative's new direction as the party of those who have been left behind by the free mobility of labour and de-industrialisation. While there is a growing body of literature that examines the continuous adaptability of the Conservatives to electoral challenges as well as to meeting social, cultural, and economic anxieties via the concepts of statecraft and the de-alignment of the British electorate, there is little published as to how the construction of a new collective identity - that of the "Red Wall" - has reinforced the hegemony of the Conservative party. The article makes three different yet interconnected arguments. First, the Conservative campaign and governing needs to be contextualised within the debate on the recognition of identity and re-distribution of wealth. Second, the "Red Wall" did not pre-exist political campaigns and respective policies but instead has been constructed and communicated to solidify a new conservative hegemony. Third, the "Red Wall" is part of a political-communicative tactic of constructing collective identities based on cultural stereotypes, location and professional occupation in line with Margaret Thatcher's "Essex Man" and Tony Blair's "Mondeo Man" for indicating ideological shifts and electoral trends.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2022


  • Blair Tony
  • Brexit
  • conservatism
  • Conservative Party
  • elections
  • Great Britain
  • hegemony
  • identity
  • identity politics
  • Johnson Boris
  • political communication
  • politics
  • recognition
  • Red Wall
  • redistribution
  • statecraft
  • Thatcher Margaret
  • working class


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