United Kingdom: The Conservatives are being defeated in the by-elections

Bad news for the British Conservatives: they lost two of the three seats at stake in by-elections, a year before legislative elections this Friday, July 21. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s Conservatives only managed to retain former Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s east London constituency, where Labor was victorious.

The Tories, on the other hand, suffered two serious setbacks in other constituencies at stake: in Somerton and Frome, where Lib-Dem candidate Sarah Dyke edged out the incumbent Conservative by more than 11,000 votes. but also in Selby and Ainstey, where Labor succeeded in overthrowing the Conservatives, who by then had a majority of over 20,000 votes. The 25-year-old winner, Keir Mather, said in a speech after the results that “it’s long past time the Tories let us down here and in Westminster”.

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The by-elections were seen as a test of the Conservative majority at its lowest level after 13 years in power, while the Labor opposition could already be seen in Downing Street in 2024. Rishi Sunak himself recognized it on Wednesday evening, along with representatives of his camp: these elections are shaping up to be an “uphill battle”, despite a slump of 7.9% in June, the highest inflation seen in more than a year has eroded the purchasing power of households and fueled several social movements.

The confidence rating of the 43-year-old prime minister – who came to Downing Street following the forced departure of Boris Johnson over the scandals last October, and Liz Truss ousted less than two months ago – fell to its lowest ever this week, with 65% of Britons holding an unfavorable opinion of her, according to the YouGov institute.

On its part, Labour, led by Keir Starmer, enjoys a more than 10-point lead in the polls and dreams of taking back Downing Street after 13 years in Conservative power. They have already won six by-elections before March 2022, including two seats taken from the Tories.

(with AFP)


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