The Conservative Party has lost two seats in its traditional electoral strongholds, but has managed to retain the constituency vacated by Boris Johnson in Uxbridge and South Ruislip in the special election held on Thursday. A 2-1 defeat is a mediocre result in the second electoral test of the “premier” Rishi Sunak, that has managed, however, to avoid the debacle of a 3-0 that could have even precipitated a government crisis.
“When people face a real and substantial choice, they choose to vote Conservative,” Sunak said, clinging to the lifeline of Johnson’s former seat, saved “in extremis” thanks to voter rejection of the Labor mayor’s ultra-low emission zone (ULEZ) expansion. Sadiq Khan.
“This is how it will also be in the general elections, when the issues that make a difference are voted on,” predicted the “premier”, drawing a veil over the two great defeats in the north and south of England. “Conservative voters have mostly stayed at home,” was the diagnosis of the president of the “Tories”, Greg Hands, who stressed the need to “listen to the concerns of the people.”
The analyst John Curtice, considered the oracle of British politics, has warned, however, that the results have exposed “the great hole” of the Conservatives in their electoral strongholds.
The great protagonist of the night was the new Labor deputy Keir Mather, 25, who will be the “youngest” of the House of Commons. Mather was able to turn around the polls in Selby and Ainsty and prevail over his Conservative rival Claire Holmes, despite the 20,000-vote lead that the “Tories” achieved in 2019.