Sunak Hanging By A Thread As Local Elections In UK Will Show Which Way The Wind Is Blowing.

Photo: Pixabay. Parliamentary elections are not far away in the UK and things are not looking good for current prime minister Rishi Sunak.
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Britain’s long-time ruling Conservative party is expected to suffer heavy losses in crucial local elections this week. If, as expected, they lose seats and control of municipalities, this will make the elections prospects of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak increasingly dim. Sunak was chosen by the Conservative Party to be Prime Minister after the collapse of the brief administration led by his predecessor Liz Truss and has never led his party to an election victory.

The polls are the last major electoral test before a general election that Sunak’s party, in power since 2010, seems extremely likely to lose to the Labour opposition.

Sunak has said he wants to hold the general election in the second half of the year, but if things go badly for the Tories in this week’s elections, the election date might have to be brought forward, or else the Conservative party leadership might take a

“These elections form a vital examination for the Sunak premiership — road-testing its claim that the plan is working and the degree to which voters still lend that notion any degree of credibility,” political scientist Richard Carr told AFP.

Incumbent governments tend to suffer losses in local contests and the Conservatives are forecast by pollsters to lose about half of the council seats they are defending.

Sunak’s immediate political future is said to rest on whether two high-profile Tory regional mayors get re-elected in the West Midlands and Tees Valley areas of central and northeast England.

Wins for the Conservative mayors, Andy Street and Ben Houchen, would boost hopes among Tory MPs that Sunak can turn around their party’s fortunes in time for the general election.

But speculation is rife in the UK parliament that a bad showing could lead some restive Conservative lawmakers to try to replace Sunak before the nationwide poll.

One of Sunak’s most dubious moves has been to bring back David Cameron, now Lord Cameron, who brought the country the controversial Brexit referendum, as Foreign Secretary, in charge of the UK’s foreign policy.

“If Andy Street and Ben Houchen both lose, any idea that Sunak can carry on is surely done,” said Carr, a politics lecturer at Anglia Ruskin University.

“Whether that means he rolls the dice on a general election or gets toppled remains to be seen.”

Factional infighting has plagued the Tories in recent years, serving up five prime ministers since the 2016 Brexit vote, including three in four months from July to October 2022.

A group of restive Conservative MPs have drawn up a “policy blitz” for a potential successor to Sunak in the event of massive losses this week, British media have reported.

Sources: Agence France Presse, BBC.

 

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