British leader Rishi Sunak’s Conservatives suffer more electoral losses
Britain’s ruling Conservatives held the former Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s seat on Friday but saw clear majorities in two other seats lose as scandals and high inflation took their toll.
Rishi Sunak was expected to become the first prime minister to lose three parliamentary seats in one day, but he was spared that humiliation thanks to a narrow victory in west London seats of Uxbridge and South Ruislip.
While that result may have brought some relief to the ailing Sunak, the wiping out of his party’s 19,000 majority in the Somerton and Frome seat and the 20,000 majority in the Selby and Ainsty constituency ahead of the expected general election next year come like a hammer blow.
The main opposition party, the Labor Party, is currently up double digits in the polls and is poised to take power for the first time in over a decade. She has won six by-elections since March last year, with two of those seats being taken by the Tories.
However, the Tories had been expected to lose Johnson’s former seat in Uxbridge and South Ruislip, but they won by 13,965 votes to 13,470, dealing a blow to Labor leader Keir Starmer and London’s Labor Mayor Sadiq Khan.
Sunak, who could not be seen campaigning, tried to project a “business-as-usual” image on Thursday but privately informed backbenchers to expect the worst.
sunaklast October after the disaster predecessor Liz Truss and initially managed to stabilize the financial markets, which had been panicked by her radical tax cut agenda.
But the 43-year-old former Treasury Secretary has struggled to reverse his party’s decline, which began during the so-called “Partygate” scandal under Johnson.
Sunak’s efforts to reverse the trend have been partially hampered by persistently high inflation, which has again unsettled markets in recent months.
With interest rates at their highest levels in 15 years and the cost of mortgages and other borrowing continuing to rise, the worst cost-of-living crisis in a generation shows little sign of abating.
Sunak started the year with five key promises to voters, including halving inflation, growing the economy and reducing wait times at the overburdened National Health Service.
He has made little progress on most commitments and there are lingering fears that the UK will slide into recession this year as high interest rates constrain spending.
Sunak’s net convenience has fallen to its lowest since joining Downing Street, according to YouGov. Two-thirds of Brits say they have negative attitudes towards him, according to YouGov.