UK's Conservatives on track to lose next election, critics blast poor migration policy: 'People have given up'

Another double blow in recent local UK elections paints an increasingly dismal picture for the Conservative Party’s hopes in the upcoming General Election, indicating a potential change in power that would see the left-wing Labour Party sweep into power. 

“The Conservative Party have forgotten how to be conservative!” Thomas Corbett-Dillon, former advisor to then-Prime Minister Boris Johnson, told Fox News Digital. 

“People have given up,” he said. “They’re sick of voting for politicians that refuse to do what the people want!”

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak appealed to voters to “come together” and back his party as the Conservatives face the increasingly likely future where Labour and party leader Keir Starmer take control of the government in the upcoming General Election, scheduled to happen sometime in 2024. 

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Two by-elections held this week resulted in Conservative losses and Labour gains — the latest in a trend that has largely seen the same switch in many elections held over the last few months.

Since July 2023, the U.K. has held eight by-elections (when a seat in the House of Commons becomes vacant between General Elections): The Conservatives lost six of those elections, with Labour picking up five and the Liberal Democrats picking up one. In the seventh election, the Scottish National Party lost a seat to Labour. The Conservatives retained just one seat out of those elections. 

Sunak in Scotland

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak gives an interview at RAF Lossiemouth in Moray on December 18, 2023, in Lossiemouth, Scotland. The Prime Minister visited the Scottish military base to recognize soldiers for their service.  (Jeff J Mitchell – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Polling data over the past few years found a switch in support at the end of 2021 with the Labour Party gaining in popularity — a gap that has only widened as the Conservative Party suffered through a merry-go-round of leadership and series of scandals that even the infamously “non-stick” Boris Johnson could not survive

British Secretary of State for Defense Grant Shapps told Fox News Digital in a recent interview that he did not put too much stock in polls, pointing to examples in 2015, 2016 and 2017 — including the Brexit vote — in which polling got the call wrong, and he argued that he could see little about the Labour Party that would appeal to voters. 

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“We have a leader of the Labour Party who only a few years ago was trying to pull us out of NATO and was supporting a then-Labour leader who wanted to abandon our nuclear disarmament,” Shapps said. “A Conservative vote means looking after the nation’s security, and therefore after your household and your family.” 

Corbett-Dillon did not share Shapps’ more optimistic view, instead arguing that the Conservative Party has lost its way and no longer offers the voters what they want. 

Britain English Channel small boat

Asylum seekers have traveled to the UK in greater numbers over the past few years, with 45,000 reaching Britain’s shores in 2022, according to the government. (Reuters)

“This is not a shift from people being conservative to being liberal,” Corbett-Dillon argued. “In this recent election, the left-wing candidate didn’t gain any more votes than last time, but the Conservative candidate lost nearly 30,000 voters.”

“Just like in America, politicians are refusing to deal with this immigration crisis,” he noted. “Boats are arriving at our shores every day, and they aren’t doing anything to stop it: In fact, if a boat gets into trouble, they send the Royal Navy to rescue them!”

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“We voted for Brexit nearly eight years ago, and nothing has changed,” Corbett-Dillon lamented. “The people want something different to the globalists, so they are working behind the scenes to control the people.”

Corbett-Dillon highlighted the brief reign of Liz Truss, who left office within two months of taking control following a controversial budget plan that all but ensured her exit. Corbett-Dillon said the U.K. now has “an unelected leader that no one voted for and no one likes.”

UK Parliament Migration

UK House of Commons has approved measure to send illegal migrants to Rwanda, in narrow vote. (UK Parliament via AP)

The result on Thursday saw Labour flip a Conservative stronghold seat in Wellingborough. Conservative activists argue that the candidate on offer, Helen Harrison, carried too much baggage as the partner of a former minister who faced punishment for bullying a staff member. 

“None of us wanted to campaign in Wellingborough, we just couldn’t face having to justify our choice of candidate,” one campaigner told The Guardian on Friday.

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The Guardian also noted lower turnout in both by-elections, with only 37% turnout in Kingswood and 38% in Wellingborough, compared to the mid-40s turnout in by-elections last year. 

The Reform Party, which arose as the refreshed version of Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party, saw a 13% increase in support in Wellingborough, which accounted for a third of the Conservative loss, meaning the loss cannot be attributed to Labour support alone — something that analysts argue will give Starmer something to chew on despite his historic wins. 

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Farage, who led the charge on Brexit and helped engineer the exit from the European Union, claimed in the aftermath of the by-election results that Conservative Party members would vote for him as leader over Sunak if given the choice. 

He further claimed in an interview with BBC Radio 4 that voters feel “let down” and “betrayed” by the government, adding that he believes Labour will win the next election and that his Reform Party will look to “win the one afterwards.” 

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