The central economic issue of our time is the advance of globalization. It is consistent with the free trade wing of the Tory party, but the cultural changes that follow from globalization are inconsistent with the conservative element in the party which likes to keep things the way that they were. The recent success of the UKIP Party in the European elections reinforces the conservative wing of the party, and it sharpens the divide within the party between the free traders who capture the spirit of the City of London, and the Tories who reside in the countryside and want to preserve the traditional culture.
This story sounds a bit similar to what we observe today in the Republican Party. It has embraced the Tea Party which dislikes Wall Street and the cultural and economic changes that result from globalization, but it also supports multinational corporations and the advance of globalization along with the financialization of the economy.
The Labour Party in Britain and the Democratic Party in US are also torn by the advance of globalization. It has not by good for their constituents in labor unions, but no political party can afford to alienate the large corporations that benefit from globalization and the financialization of the economy. It would appear that the real tension is not within the major political parties. Globalization has moved faster than the ability of nation states to adapt to the changes that follow from globalization.