The Prime Minister has told Conservative party members from the region to stand up to Labour and fight "a battle of ideas".
"It's a battle we thought we'd won, but we have to make the argument for capitalism again," she told the east of England reception at her party's conference in Manchester.
Theresa May said there was a new generation of voters who'd grown up during austerity who felt the market hadn't worked for them. She said the Conservatives needed to spread the message of opportunity and aspiration adding "but we must also recognise the concerns of a generation who fear they'll be worse off than their parents".
The party, which is still reeling from failing to win the general election outright and losing Ipswich, Peterborough and Bedford to Labour in this year's general election, is talking a lot about reaching out to younger voters.
It has already announced plans to freeze tuition fees and extend the "help to buy" scheme for homes.
Mrs May congratulated party activists for "a very impressive performance" in this year's local elections.
In a brief reference to the general election she said she was "sorry to have lost some good colleagues".