Since becoming leader of the Conservative party in June 1997, William Hague has introduced wide-ranging reforms to its organisational structure. Publicly, the leadership claimed to have introduced formal intra-party democracy. A natural drive for the Conservatives is also to boost their electoral appeal, by enhancing the market orientation of the party. The two seem incompatible at first glance—empowering the party members seems to conflict with a marketing strategy. This article discusses the reforms with analysis from both a marketing and an organisational perspective. It first considers the nature of the reforms and then examines the validity of the two propositions as to the motivations behind them, and evaluates whether they are exclusive or complementary.

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