Some Conservative Party lawmakers are plotting to abandon their constituents to secure safer seats in the next UK general election in anticipation of Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s party to lose. heavy.
Tory Parliament members have in recent days informed their local associations and party headquarters whether they intend to run for re-election in the next election, which takes place before January 2025. . According to MPs and officials familiar with those conversations, seats have become an important topic of discussion, even more so in recent years.
The regular boundary adjustment process that will go into effect at the next election adds another incentive, and sometimes justification, for some MPs to swap. The changes this time are brutal for some Tories, which, combined with the dire state of the polls, means that even some relatively safe seats are now at stake.
The scramble by individual MPs to save their jobs has been a controversial feature of British politics for decades, and it became especially apparent when MPs began to think they were looking in the dying days of a government.
The mood of Tory MPs in marginal constituencies this week suggests little optimism that Sunak will be able to turn around the party’s poor poll ratings over the next two years. Towards the end of John Major’s tenure as prime minister in the 1990s, Tony Blair’s opposition Labor Party labeled Conservative MPs struggling for safer seats as “chickens” and This process is known as the chicken race.
MPs who attempt to swap seats tend to argue that it is unnecessary for them to do so because of boundary changes, frequent changes made to the boundaries of constituencies, due to demographic and demographic changes. But critics see the runaway chicken as the last panic move by a professional politician.
With writing on the walls in opinion polls, they wave goodbye to those they were elected to represent, and run to somewhere more politically convenient to save their own skin. them, so that debate will take place. At the 2019 election, Tory minister Mims Davies gave up her seat in Eastleigh in Hampshire – usually a fringe Liberal Democrat – for affluent Mid Sussex, which has since followed the Conservatives. since its establishment.
The process was fraught and puzzling as MPs weighed their futures and jostled for positions, making it one of the more interesting stories about the ring road that is obsessed with democracy. political meaning. MPs often let their association believe they are standing again, only to change their mind later.
The Boundary Commission’s current proposals would see the current 59 parliamentary seats change by 40% or more, meaning many seats could look very different from how they did in 2019, when the Tories won the largest majority in a generation.
Some of the hardest hit MPs include Gavin Williamson, a former minister who resigned in the first weeks of Rishi Sunak’s government, whose seat in South Staffordshire is merging with South Dudley. Defense Secretary Ben Wallace’s Wyre and Preston North constituencies are also in jeopardy.
Hurry for a seat
A battle is ongoing among Tory MPs to be the candidate for the Auckland Bishops seat held by Dehenna Davison, the 29-year-old incumbent who has decided to leave politics, vacant, according to people familiar with the matter. with those discussions.
The chair in the northeast of England is seen as a relatively good prospect for the Tories although polls suggest many working class voters in the north will return to Labor. The Boundaries Committee is proposing to dissolve the neighboring North West Durham seat currently held by another Conservative MP, Richard Holden, increasing the concentration of the proposed potential Conservative votes.
At the other end of the country, there is a major contest among Conservative MPs for a coveted new constituency called the Weald of Kent, which will have a strong Tory voter base. Party figures show that Greg Clark, whose nearby Tunbridge Wells has been heavily targeted by the Liberal Democrats due to the majority of the population staying to vote, is among those running. When asked for comment, Clark told Bloomberg he’s happy at Tunbridge Wells.
Windsor’s main seat, home to the Royal Family and with a majority of 20,000 Conservatives, is vacant as the city’s MP Adam Afriyie is retiring from politics. Tory MPs suggested Ben Spencer could hop over from Runnymede and Weybridge in Surrey. Spencer did not respond to an email seeking comment.
Raab under pressure
Embattled Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab, who is facing an investigation into allegations of bullying, which he denies, is also under pressure in Esher and Walton next door. The Liberal Democrats are pouring resources into winning the seat, believing that boundary changes there make them more likely to win it. That led Tory MPs to speculate that Raab might switch to Runnymede. A spokesman for Raab denied that he was looking into it.
There are also issues for the Tories in south-east London, where boundary changes could leave Bromley’s Bob Neill and Beckenham’s Bob Stewart forced to make decisions about their futures.
A Tory senior joked that the party would have to hire a fleet of helicopters to ferry its MPs around the country as they search for new constituencies. But another was less cheerful, commenting that with the current polls, there will be no safe seats in the next election.
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