Britain’s Tories are taking the bad news at a rapid pace. On Friday 2 December they suffered a brutal electoral slap, Labor won a landslide victory in a by-election held the day before in the constituency of Chester in north-west England: 61.2% of the votes cast against 22.4% for the votes cast. local Tory candidate. The party’s lowest score in this fairly rural and conservative locality since … 1832.
Many were quick to see it as a harbinger of a Labor victory in the next general election, due to take place at the end of 2024. Commenting on the Chester results on BBC Radio 4, UK polling guru John Curtice noted that it was “of Labour’s best performance [dans une élection partielle ou nationale] since David Cameron crossed the threshold of 10 Downing Street in 2010 (…). that Labor has never been so strong in the twelve years the Conservatives have been in power. »
The tide seems to have turned resolutely in favor of the left, and the Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, despite his seriousness and his pragmatism, is struggling to keep hope in the Tory ranks. The latter are reeling from months of chaos, with former prime minister Boris Johnson’s resignation this summer, pushed out by scandal, and then in the autumn the disastrous mandate of Liz Truss, whose radical ultraliberalism caused a financial storm and destroyed the party’s reputation for competence.
One after the other, elected representatives, on whom the right wing depended for renewal, announce that they will not stand for re-election. Friday was the turn of Sajid Javid, a close friend of Mr. Sunak, former finance minister, then health minister for Boris Johnson. “This government has reached the end of its road, it has no more ideas, it has no mandate, it’s time to change”, claimed Keir Starmer, the leader of Labour, renewing his call for an early general election.
Only Rishi Sunak can propose to King Charles III a dissolution of Parliament and trigger an early vote. In light of the polls, which put the Tories an average of 20 points behind Labor nationally, he has no interest in rushing. The immediate danger to Mr. Sunak comes mainly from within his own ranks: in office for barely more than a month, he is already suffering from rebellion after rebellion.
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