Wednesday 17 Jul 2024

Infighting Tories succumbed through their own faults


CHRIS DA CRUZ | JULY 05, 2024, 11:43 PM IST


When in India, we all learnt that thriving democracies rely on good oppositions. So, when a single party, or an alliance, wins a huge majority, we then have to assume that democracy is in trouble, authoritarian rule will follow or the government in power will suffer self-destruction by imploding upon itself. The latter being the case in the 2019 general Election when the Conservative Party under the leadership of Boris Johnson secured a record 80-seat majority.

Over the last five years, the Tories in the UK, have changed their leader (the Prime Minster) three times, disagreed on almost every policy, swapped ministerial roles by the changing seasons every 3 to 6 months and ignored their manifesto. 

The result has been a thumping loss at the July 2024 General Election that brought the party to its knees and an end to some illustrious Tory parliamentary candidates, not least the big guns like Penny Mordant and Jacob Rees-Mogg. 

The Labour Party romped home with a massive majority (over 170), literally wiping out the Tories in Wales and Scotland. Most will agree that Labour could have won the election without opening their mouths. Confused and poorly managed campaigns, the infighting Tory party succumbed to the opposition through their own faults. 

In addition, faced with challenges from ‘Reform UK’, the party on the right ate into the Tory share of votes who felt that the party did not do much to control immigration, both legal and illegal. Thirdly, disillusioned Tory voter apathy played a big part in bringing about the Tories to their knees. 

All this brings little joy to Conservative Party members and campaigners like myself. Lots of questions will need to be asked and answered. The party will need to introspect and decide on how it can recoup the centre-right ground – its rightful place – and win back the hearts and minds of their supporters. 

It comes with some concern that the party may not be able to right itself for a decade. The 2019 landslide was not good for democracy, and it is to be seen if the 2024 General Election landslide victory by the Labour Party will end up in a similar disaster. Only time will tell.

[The writer is a Conservative Party campaigner, a socio-economic commentator based in the UK with great interest in global politics] 

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