The Conservatives do not have a problem in the North. As Policy Exchange’s report, Northern Lights, highlighted if you took the TransPennine Express train from Liverpool to Newcastle you would find that 13 of the stops are in Conservative held seats and 19 in seats held by Labour. The Tories’ real problem is in attracting support from urban voters, especially those living in inner city areas.
To put this into context the party does not have a single councillor in Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle or Sheffield. Twenty out of London’s 32 boroughs are held by Labour. Just nine are Conservative. Yet Boris Johnson has won two consecutive Mayoral contests. So it can be done. The Tories can win over urban voters – and it's vital that they do.