The Tories have suffered significant defeats in two by-elections in the House of Commons. As one party attracts cadre effects, Boris Johnson’s problems escalate.
Michael Newtecker from London
He should have been in the studio of UK news channels on Friday morning with Oliver Dowd to discuss the by-election results on Thursday. Dowden is co-chair of the Conservatives with Boris Johnson and is a non-portfolio minister. He has done this many times before: defending Johnson and sitting in the TV studio, there are no limits to his faith. But it seems to be a wrong decision. Oliver Dowd did not come to the TV studio on Friday, but resigned. He sent his message, including his resignation letter, at 5:35 a.m. local time.
The resignation of a senior cabinet member at 5:30 am is always bad news for a government. In the case of Dowden, this also came as a surprise, and Johnson is also said to be embroiled in the news. Fact: Johnson is currently in Rwanda Meeting of the Commonwealth of Nations, Called Johnson there before sending his letter to Dowden. At the time, reporters said Johnson was swimming in a hotel pool in Kigali.
Bad election results
The impetus for Dowden’s resignation is a night to talk a lot more in political London. Two by-elections were held in the UK on Thursday in Wakefield and Diverton & Honeydon; Tory MPs from both constituencies were recently forced to resign over various scandals. Located in the Midlands of England, Wakefield is one of the constituencies won by the Tories in 2019 from Labor. Tverton is in the southwest, where the Tories have won every election since 1924 by 2019 with an overwhelming majority of nearly 25,000 votes. Not only did Labor regain power in Wakefield, but the Liberal Democrats also won in conservative Dwight, which now shows Dowden’s victory with the biggest turn in Tory history.
On Friday, critics of Johnson’s own party called for him to resign. His supporters often insisted that Johnson was the right man and that electoral defeats in the middle of his term were completely normal. But that is only half true, and now there are ample examples of British governments appearing less clearly and frequently in by-elections than Johnson’s Tories. Since 2019, the Conservative Party has won only three of the 10 by-elections, in two of which the current MP died tragically, marrying a local campaigner with reverence.
Strikes paralyze the country
On the other hand, studies show that voters are dissatisfied with the way they handle, for example, the rising cost of living or the train strike. These are currently affecting the entire country, but instead of settling through negotiations, the Tories are sending emails blaming the opposition to their constituencies. “Stop workers’ strikes” is what Transport Minister Grant Shops emailed in all seriousness on Thursday.
Even the local Tory candidate was not particularly skeptical of the voter attitude towards Johnson in the election in Dverton. During the election campaign he was sometimes shouted at and frequently asked questions about Johnson’s lockdown parties, he presented the most iconic picture of these days on Friday night. While reporters waited for his comment in Diverton, he locked himself in a room in a local dance studio.