RISHI Sunak was defiant as his party looked set to lose over 1,000 seats in this year’s local elections.
He had no reason to be.
Far from steadying the ship, Sunak’s months-long tenure has resulted in bullying scandals, dog whistle policy on immigration and a continually collapsing economy.
It’s no wonder the Conservative Party lost control of swathes of councils across the country – from young to old and Remain to Leave, voters told the Tories where to go on Thursday.
As such, Labour will, bar a miracle, be the largest party after next year’s general election.
The problem? This set of election results weren’t down to Labour flying high – it’s purely a Conservative issue.
After the local election results started pouring in, polling expert Sir John Curtice predicted that Labour will end up on 312 seats after the next general election. This is short of a majority. It’s also a pathetic showing from a party who were not too long ago talking about a landslide.
“Labour doesn’t seem to have made much of an advance on last year,” Sir John said.
“There is a message here that voters are not yet necessarily fully enthused about Labour’s alternative, even if they are clearly disenchanted about the current Conservative government.”
This is far from ideal for Labour. They’re up against a Tory party on its last legs, having been in power for 13 years and facing a number of political and economic disasters throughout.
Starmer should be on track for a comfortable majority at this stage. But after a seemingly high water mark in the polls earlier this year, the tide is turning – not due to Sunak’s aura, but a decreasing lack of enthusiasm for Labour.
Starmer praised and credited a “changed party” when celebrating Thursday’s results. But looking professional and battling the Left aren’t enough to turn out enough voters come next year.
Labour need some progressive, brave policy – or risk being seen as more of the same.
Featured Image: Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
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