Conservatives 'hit with too many scandals' says Fisher
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The Conservative Party has been “hit by too many scandals” in recent months, including Boris Johnson’s ignominious exit and Liz Truss’ calamitous mini-budget, a political advisor has claimed, and their re-election is now under threat. Speaking to LBC, Andrew Fisher said “people are turning away from the Conservatives”, as evidenced by the Chester by-election results in Labour’s favour on Thursday night, because they do not “feel the Government is on their side”. In Rishi Sunak’s first electoral test since assuming office, Labour won a landslide victory in the city of Chester, retaining their seat while gaining an additional 13.76 percentage points on the Conservatives from the 2019 result.
Mr Fisher said: “I think they have just been hit by too many scandals recently. I think it is a cumulative effect.
“Partly they have been in office for 12 years and people have grown tired of them but it is also, I think, Partygate with Boris Johnson, then we had the Truss interlude, that disastrous mini-budget.
“And loo, we are in the worst cost of living crisis on record. People’s incomes are falling in real terms. People are feeling the pinch and they do not feel the Government is on their side.
“Inevitably, people are turning away from the Conservatives and you saw that last night in the [Chester] by-election, where their vote was down to about 15 percent, I think.”
Following the by-election result in Chester, Sir Keir Starmer hailed Labour’s victory, claiming it demonstrated the public are “fed up” with the Tory Government.
The contest was triggered by the resignation of the Labour politician Christian Matheson, who quit his Commons seat after complaints of “serious sexual misconduct” were upheld by a parliamentary watchdog.
Samantha Dixon, Labour’s replacement candidate, won the by-election with a majority of 10,974, increasing the party’s hold on the city by more than four thousand votes.
Labour took more than 61 percent of the vote, up from 50 percent at the last general election, albeit with a far smaller turnout.
Labour had been widely expected to hold the seat, having won it in 2019 for the third time in a row with a majority of 6,164, but the nearly 14 percent swing of Tory votes in Labour’s favour could cause concern.
Speaking in Glasgow, the Labour leader called it a “very, very good result” for his party.
He said: “The Government is worn out, tired, and has crashed the economy. And the verdict was very, very clearly given.
“I think that’s a clear message to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak that people are fed up.
“There’s this strong sense now that the Government has run out of road, run out of ideas, hasn’t got a mandate, and it’s time for change.”
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Lord Hayward, a Conservative peer and elections analyst, said after the result that Mr Sunak now had to “convince the public at large” he could navigate the crises facing the UK.
He said: “Rishi has to convince the public at large that he can manage out of this crisis, whichever crisis one’s looking at – and there’s a lot of them.”
The polling gap between the Labour Party and the ruling Conservatives, however, has been reduced since Mr Sunak assumed office.
Prior to his appointment, the gap was at 30 points; now, it is at 21 points, with Labour holding 48 percent of the potential vote.
If Labour were to replicate their 13.76 percent swing in the Chester by-election on a nationwide scale at the next general election, Sir Keir would win a majority in Government, pollster John Curtice said.
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