Tory By-Election Armageddon While Sunak Away mdi-fullscreen

While their leader is 3000 miles away amid the pyramids of Egypt, at home the Conservatives are waking up to a double whammy of by-election results so bad they are impossible to spin. Labour’s gain in Mid Bedfordshire is the largest raw Conservative majority (24,664) to be overturned by Labour at a by-election since 1945. The seat has elected Conservative MPs continuously since 1931. Until now…

The Tories spent weeks telling any pundit who would listen that the LibDem vote would split Labour’s, meaning they could ‘come through the middle’. But Labour managed a swing of 20.5 points, nearly matching the 20.4 point swing at the other end of the U.K., in Rutherglen & Hamilton West. And this was with a locally well-known and hardworking candidate in Festus Akinbusoye. Guido hears he is feeling very sore this morning. Will he stay silent?

The result in Tamworth is less surprising – though it comes in a heavily leave voting seat with a 19,000+ Tory majority. Labour pulled off an even bigger swing there of 23.9 points, the second-largest swing by them at a by-election since 1945. The biggest was against Major in 1994…

In April 1996, one year ahead of the 1997 general election, a by-election took place in the very same area (then called South East Staffordshire). Blair’s Labour won the seat from the Tories on a massive swing: 22.1 percentage points, just less than the 23.9 point swing in Tamworth now. The ‘Starmer isn’t as good as Blair’ talking point doesn’t work here – he’s done better…

The Tories are grasping for excuses for these results, variously blaming the weather, Nadine Dorries, tactical voting and voters staying at home. But with these huge swings against them now more uniform, they are in denial. This is a national problem. With Sunak away, Labour have a clear run all day at the media to grandstand on the back of these results…
UPDATE: According to YouGov “Conservative voters think the government has the wrong leader by 46% to 36%, and the wrong policies by 53% to 29% (with 36% thinking both are wrong)

Compared to 2022, when Boris Johnson was still prime minister, Tory voters are 4 points less likely to say the government has the right leader, and 16 points less likely to say the government has the right policies.”

mdi-tag-outline By-Elections Tories
mdi-account-multiple-outline Rishi Sunak
mdi-timer October 20 2023 @ 08:13 mdi-share-variant mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-printer
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