Saturday, June 25, 2022

Two disappointing by-election results

The results in the Tiverton and Honiton and Wakefield by-elections were disappointing, and nobody in the Conservative party is pretending otherwise. I went to Wakefield twice and also took part in telephone canvassing. We had excellent candidates in both seats  but there was clearly a lot of discontent, particularly in respect of the cost of living but about a number of other issues too, and we clearly need to learn from this.

  • The Conservatives are determined to listen to what we have been told on the doorstep, learn the lessons, and then unite and focus on delivering for people across the UK. 
  • Midterm by-elections are always very challenging for incumbent governments, especially after 12 years in office, and both these by-elections were called following the resignation of sitting Conservative MPs, in one case in criminal circumstances.
  • It appeared that that Labour and the Liberal Democrats were effectively co-operating in an undeclared manner, with each party effectively giving the other a clear run at one seat. Sometimes in politics you do have to work with people in another party but in my book when you do that you should make very clear and transparent what each party is agreeing to. Informal pacts agreed behind closed doors or by a nudge and a wink usually end very badly both for the parties concerned and for the electorate they are supposed to be serving. Only the Conservatives can be relied on to deliver strong majority government.
  • Thank you to everyone who has campaigned so hard for our party at these by-elections – we are determined to hear the message voters sent yesterday, unite and focus on delivering for people across the UK. 

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