The arrival of an electoral defeat that the polls announce as practically inevitable stimulates the audacity, almost recklessness, of the hardest and most Eurosceptic wing of the Conservative Party, always ready to repeat a penultimate internal rebellion and to shoot themselves in the foot once again. Former minister Simon Clarke was the battering ram in yet another attempt to unseat Rishi Sunak on Tuesday night. In a forum published in the Today’s telegraph, the newspaper of reference for hardline conservatives, Clarke warned his colleagues of the result that awaited them at the polls – in principle, the legislative elections must take place at the end of the year – if they retained the current Prime Minister as candidate: “The harsh reality is that if Sunak leads the party in an election, we will be massacred,” said Clarke, softening with kind words what many colleagues saw as a clear slap in the back : “Rishi has great strengths. “He is honest to the core, extremely intelligent and a tireless worker,” he said. But “all these virtues cannot compensate for two fundamental problems. He doesn’t have what the UK needs. And he is not listening to what British citizens are asking for,” he concluded.
Clarke backed Sunak’s bid to lead the Tories from failed former prime minister Liz Truss. After this brief and disastrous tenure, which damaged the UK’s economic credibility, the then Minister of Housing and Local Government was forced out of government. Since then, he has harbored resentment which led him to lead the rebellion last week against the law which toughened expulsions of immigrants to Rwanda.
But he is not alone. Behind his maneuver lies the politician who took charge, without being asked, of preserving the spirit of Brexit: David Frost, the EU exit negotiator most hated by Brussels, whose he hostility was about to derail this turbulent process. Frost represents the denial of Eurosceptics preservatives more recalcitrant, incapable of admitting the economic and geopolitical failure of this divorce and convinced that everything is to blame for politicians like Sunak, who have given in to pragmatism on issues like immigration, lower taxes or the application of the international legality.
Last week, Frost released a new investigation that was both devastating and shrouded in mystery. In theory, it had been commissioned from the company YouGov by a shadow organization without head office, statutes or social registration: the Liberal Britain Alliance. Nearly 14,000 citizens across the country were consulted to reach various conclusions. First of all, the preservatives They could lose up to 200 seats (they currently have 349) to the Labor opposition (which currently holds 197). But the most important part of the survey is that in 375 constituencies, up from 200, Conservative voters assured that a new candidate willing to cut taxes and be even tougher on irregular immigrants could defeat Labor’s Keir Starmer.
“I already know that many Tory MPs are worried that another change in leadership will create a ridiculous image. But what could be more ridiculous than accepting the idea of sleepwalking toward inevitable annihilation because we are unwilling to listen to what citizens are telling us so clearly? “, Clarke wrote. The slogan was clear. The response from many major party figures, however, was lukewarm to say the least, even contemptuous and harsh towards the former minister’s proposal.
Behind the investigation, which appears to have been commissioned by Frost himself to circumvent electoral law, lies the suspicion that the usual conspirators are at work, such as millionaire fund manager Paul Marshall, who financed the television channel far right. GB News.
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1992 or 1997?
Conservatives have recently engaged in a historical and nostalgic debate that many of their detractors view as a way of burying their heads in the sand: 1992 or 1997? Will Sunak deliver the same surprise as John Major in 1992, against all odds, to secure the Conservative Party’s fourth consecutive victory? Or will he suffer the same resounding defeat as Major, five years later, against Tony Blair’s Labor Party?
Polls have dispelled this doubt for more than a year. All give opposition candidate Starmer an electoral advantage of more than 20 percentage points. But the different conservative tribes cling to doubt to maintain hope. The right of the party, because they still believe that a candidate of their level, or even tougher, would save them from debacle. The moderates and realists, because they know the electorate would not allow them to remove and replace another Downing Street tenant without going to the polls, and they are clinging to the pragmatic Sunak as their last lifeline. In the end, and against all odds, she has already managed to defeat several rebellion attempts in a little over a year.
Priti Patel, Boris Johnson’s former home secretary and not exactly an admirer of Sunak, accused Clarke of being “simple-minded, divisive and complacent”, and joined the voices of those who have criticized him. accused of playing into the hands. of the opposition. Former defense minister Liam Fox criticized Clarke for descending into “tribalism” whose sole aim is to destabilize the party. Damian Green, one of the MPs who best represents the moderate wing of the party preservativesaccused a “misguided and unintelligent” maneuver.
Sunak has almost a year of ordeal ahead of him, and there is no guarantee that he will survive in power and ultimately be the Conservative Party candidate. Its main advantage, however, lies in the general weariness of many MPs. preservatives in the face of the continued conspiracies and experiments promoted by those who have already one day divided the formation, and the entire United Kingdom, with the flag of Brexit.
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