Tory Party Blues: Grim General Election Predictions After Dire Campaign Start

As the dust begins to settle on an awful set of local election results for the Tories, a clearer picture of what is going wrong for them emerges. It’s a challenging read for the Tory party.

How Did the Tories Perform Last Time Around?

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In 2021, the Conservatives had 2,345 councillors elected and controlled 63 councils across the country. They were riding high, and Labour hadn’t found its feet properly under Starmer.

And This Time?

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Let’s say things look pretty different. Of the 102 Councils that have reported results, the Tories have lost control of 10, and there are now 469 fewer Tory councillors. 

Why Has the Tory Vote Diminished?

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Where to start? The main thrust of the issues began with Brexit. It caused divisions and in-fighting within the party. They lost a trusted leader in Cameron; then the leadership merry-go-round kicked in.

Brexit Killed Leadership Careers

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Theresa May was seen as a safe pair of hands, but her Brexit deal wasn’t considered ‘hard’ enough for the party’s far right. A rebellion saw her on her way after three years.

Enter Johnson’s Populist Approach

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Boris Johnson, a Brexit supporter, was up next. His appointment appeased the right of the party and he enjoyed some stability for a while. Arguably, the pandemic helped Johnson in the short term because it kept a lid on some of his populist tendencies.

COVID Crisis, Partygate, Lies

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After the pandemic ended, the crows came home to roost. Partygate, a PPE scandal, mismanagement of public funds. Even Johnson, a man with a ‘casual’ relationship with the truth, couldn’t survive his actions.

Trussonomics to the Downfall

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A buoyant Liz Truss won a leadership contest, beating Rishi Sunak to the top. Her loose economic policies were rounded upon by, well, everyone, and she crashed the economy. The Bank of England had to step in to calm markets, and borrowers are (literally) paying the price. 

Truss Out, Sunak In

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After lasting less time than a lettuce took to rot, the Tories gave the job to their second-favourite option, Rishi Sunak. He inherited an unpopular government, the highest base interest rate in nearly two decades, and a party that didn’t like each other much.

Everything Changes, but Everything Stays the Same

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Sunak didn’t cause the problems, but he’s done little to change them. In his 19 (so far) months in office, we still have high interest rates, the government isn’t popular, and the Tories still don’t like each other. Oh, and everything costs more.

So Where Has the Tory Vote Gone?

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Work by Electoral Calculus concludes: “The Tories are losing voters in all possible directions, with more than half of their 2019 supporters deserting them today. Reform UK is the main beneficiary of the Conservative exodus, and Labour is also set to gain many new voters.”

Populism Proving Unpopular

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The populist approach has turned off the traditional moderate Tory vote. The think tank More in Common produced a report saying the public feels politicians are “playing to the crowd” and “jumping on the bandwagon” when they use populism and culture wars as a tactic.

Hard Right Vote Switching to Reform 

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The biggest worry for Sunak and the higher ranks of the Tory party will be the loss of votes to Reform. These are traditional Tory voters, but the euro-sceptics who aren’t happy with the Tory handling of Brexit have left in droves.

Voting Intention Impossible to Ignore

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The latest ‘Voting Intention’ poll from YouGov shows that 18% of people intend to vote Conservative at the next election, down from a 2020 high of 53%. Reform, on the other hand, is polling to win 15% of the vote, up from 1% in 2020. 

Traditional Tory Vote Cut in Half 

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The reality is only the floating voters who previously voted Conservative are heading to Labour. Reform is the place where the right half of the Tory vote is heading. The voting intention polls are clear on that.

Why Are the Far-Right Tories Voting Reform?

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When polled, they say they’re unhappy about our relationship with Europe and how the Tories handle immigration. These are long-standing issues for the right of the party, so it comes as no surprise. 

Where Are the Moderate Tories Going To?

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Lifelong Conservative voters who aren’t happy with the party’s direction are generally switching to the Lib Dems and Greens. Most lifelong Tory voters can’t face voting for the Labour Party, but a handful say they will.

Expect Tory MP Changes Soon

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Lee Anderson has already joined Reform. The likelihood is he won’t be the last. Dan Poulter has defected to Labour. These are possibly the first moves in a bizarre switching of sides for some MPs in the near future. 

Tories Losing Their Way – And Their Voters

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To outside observers, the party seems to have lost its way. It has allowed the right of the party to grow stronger than usual, and it has acted as kingmaker. The problem is, the country isn’t as far right, and it’s costing them votes.

Tories Stuck Between a Rock and a Hard Place

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They need to be seen as strong on immigration and Europe to satisfy the right, yet moderate enough on both to keep hold of their moderates. It’s a balance they need to achieve. 

Tories’ Unrecognisable’

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Several social media commentators have said the Conservatives are unrecognisable relative to their values. They were always meant to be small states, low-tax, and economically stable. Instead, they have bloated Whitehall spending, costly COVID bills, the highest national debt in years, and forced a heavy tax burden on the public. 

Europe Didn’t Just Hurt the Country – It Killed the Conservatives.

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While barely anyone benefited from Brexit, the biggest casualty was the Conservative Party. The infighting it caused has cost them vote share, identity, and, ultimately, power. 

Losses to the Right and Centre

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Results show the Tories are going to be devastated in the upcoming general election. They’ll hold on to their hardcore voters, but the right is heading to Reform, and the centre to Labour, Lib Dems, and Greens. 

Tories Need a Reboot

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It’ll probably ruin their election chances for a good few years but also allow them to rebuild. To establish themselves as a centre-right party and regain mass-market appeal. Let the right of the party leave and return to core values. 

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The post Tory Party Blues: Grim General Election Predictions After Major Local Losses first appeared on Edge Media.

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