Another electoral defeat for the Conservatives in the United Kingdom

Britain’s Conservative Party lost two parliamentary seats to Labor on October 20, another setback for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his party ahead of general elections due next year.

Labor leader Keir Starmer, whose party is recognized as having a large lead in the polls, called the result “historic”, because it concerns two conservative strongholds and “redraws the political map” of the country.

Labor candidate Sarah Edwards won the seat of Tamworth in central England, previously controlled by the Conservatives with a large majority, by 1,316 votes.

The Conservatives lost the Mid-Bedfordshire (central England) seat by 1,192 votes, which they had won with a majority of 24,664 votes in 2019. It was the clearest defeat for the Tories in a by-election since 1945.

Polling expert John Curtice said the results were “extremely bad” for the Conservatives and suggested the party could lose the next general election. The conservatives currently have a large majority in parliament. “But if they fail to change things radically, they will have to deal with an inevitable defeat,” he added.

Conservative Party chairman Greg Hands sought to downplay the results, arguing that Conservative voters simply stayed at home. “I don’t see any enthusiasm for Labour,” he told Times Radio.

The British Prime Minister, the conservative Rishi Sunak, who is visiting the Middle East following the rekindling of hostilities between Israel and Hamas, has not yet commented on the election results.

After a year in office, Sunak is trying to revive his party’s fortunes: the Tories had already lost a by-election in July, and in the last four years they have ceded several seats to the Liberal Democrats. Labor has been leading the national polls for over a year.

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Beth Malcolm

Beth Malcolm is Scottish based Journalist at Heriot-Watt University studying French and British Sign Language. She is originally from the north west of England but is living in Edinburgh to complete her studies.