Friday 14 June 2024

From That Victory They Never Recovered: The Strange Death of Conservative England

What a fool Rishi Sunak was to call an election early that he is sure to lose. 

Lord Melbourne's secretary Tom Young urged him to be Prime Minister with the words, 'Why, damn it, such a position never was occupied by any Greek or Roman, and if it only lasts two months, it is well worth while to have been Prime Minister of England.' 

Mr Sunak had six months to go and could have started doing the things he now says he intends to do, like sending people to Rwanda.

A recent poll shows that among every age group except those over 65 the proportion of voters who want the Conservatives to lose all their seats is larger than the proportion who say they would like to see the party win the election. 

Last night's poll shows Reform ahead of the Conservatives (but Reform will still be lucky to get two seats).

'How quickly things have changed. In 2016, the presence of Gove and Boris Johnson at the heart of the leave campaign arguably secured its era-defining success. Three years later, Johnson led his party to such a momentous win in the general election that there was talk of a lasting political realignment, whereby working-class Labour voters would completely ditch their old loyalties, and a new era of Tory hegemony would begin. But for the Conservatives, the legacy of the 2019 election played out in the worst possible way. On top of sheer incompetence and chaos, the political approach that brought them a Commons majority of 80 eventually proved to be their downfall, which brings to mind the characterisation of the Liberals’ landslide of 1906 in George Dangerfield’s The Strange Death Of Liberal England: “From that victory they never recovered.”' John Harris, The Observer, 26 May 2024

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