Margaret Thatcher couldn’t be elected today because immigration has changed the electorate

So says Mark Krikorian. I haven’t seen the numbers to back up that statement, but Krikorian presents evidence that the British left responded to the defeats inflicted on it by Margaret Thatcher by legislating an immigration boom intended radically to transform the electorate. And we know that no one remotely like Thatcher has come to power since.

In the U.S., as Peter Wehner has pointed out, Mitt Romney would have defeated President Obama had the demography of the U.S. been the same as in 1980, assuming that he would have done as well, in that context, as he did with each major demographic group in 2012. Indeed, Romney would have run better than Ronald Reagan did in 1980.

One hopes that Republicans will bear this in mind when considering new immigration reform legislation that further transforms the electorate. But big business wants this legislation for its own purposes, and some Republicans think there may be short-term gain in it for the Party, and that seems more than sufficient to trump concern (if any) about the long-term viability of conservatism in America.


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