“It is remarkable how much the ‘values division’ narrative has come to dominate,” says Robert Ford, professor of political science at Manchester University. “Yes, there are differences in values, but they are not new, and they wax and wane.” Ford is a particularly useful guide to this theme because he (alongside colleague Matthew Goodwin) led the way in detailing how working-class alienation from mainstream parties could boost Ukip. So if Ford says “steady on”, it’s worth listening. Ford also offers the essential reminder that politics is about the “mobilisation of conflicts”. That is, politicians, academics and journalists have chosen to run with the theme of a culture clash between the “metros” and the rest. However, the evidence is there to sustain a very different call to arms. “There’s nothing in the data to suggest a leadership of common purpose across the classes could not be drummed up. No reason why you couldn’t have a Blair mark II,” says Ford.