Monday, February 19, 2024

The Tories will still be suffering from Boris Johnson's premiership years from today

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One sign  the Conservatives think they are going to lose the election is the number of their MPs who have chosen to retire rather than defend their seats.

The Guardian reported this morning:

So far, 90 of 650 sitting MPs have announced they will not be seeking re-election. Of those, 14 are former secretaries of state – 11 of them Tory – and nine are select committee chairs.

This is the highest number of departing MPs since 2010, with more retirements expected to come. The exodus is greater on the Tory benches, which are on track for their biggest wave of departures since the 1997 Labour landslide.

Disappointingly, the report doesn't give the number of Tories standing down, but a tweet from Dick Newby this morning said that so far 58 of their MP have thrown in the towel.

Of course, some retirements because of age or disenchantment are inevitable, but the higher numbers this time suggests there are plenty of Tories who don't fancy a spell in opposition or are resigned to defeat and want more time to look for a new career.

The number of former Tories secretaries of state standing down, says the Guardian, is worrying the party:

One Tory source said: “There’s this question of how much experience the new intake will have … We’re grappling with two huge foreign affairs crises. Where are the foreign affairs experts?”

I can help them with that question: Boris Johnson drove them out of the Commons. The Conservative Party will still be suffering because of that years from today.

The Tories may find that lack of expertise is not the only problem with their new intake. As I suggested last month:

the average Tory activist is now less likely to be a pillar of the local business community than a keyboard warrior or social media troll.


Matt Pennell said...

I believe the Conservatives had a lost weekend 1997 - 2005 where, post-John Major, they had three leaders who clearly weren't Prime Ministerial in William Hague, Iain Duncan Smith and Michael Howard. They lost the plot in terms of personnel and it took them a long time to find the plot with only 165 MPs.

You could argue they've had a lost weekend in government, having three Prime Ministers in this parliament. Do their members have the nous to choose a leader from less than 200 MPs that will resonate with the public? A bad case scenario after the election is they are squeezed from the centre by the Lib Dems and they are squeezed from the fringes by Reform UK. If this happens, their policy platform and leadership could look very confused and defensive.

nigel hunter said...

I can be happy with the LibDems in the centre. Squeezed from the fringes by Reform (ex Brexit Party),Fine by me.It may be time for them to wander in the wilderness for 40 years