Fleeing Flock

Fleeing Flock

In a scene reminiscent of a misadventure on a Devon farm, the Conservative Party faces a dire predicament. It is akin to a flock of sheep fleeing from their supposed caretakers. This imagery encapsulates the current state of the Tories. According to a recent Ipsos poll, they face their worst electoral defeat in history.

Labour appears to be on track for the largest majority of any post-war government. The Ipsos survey forecasts Labour could secure 43% of the vote and win 453 seats, leaving the Conservatives with just 115 MPs. This projected loss would surpass the Tories’ previous low of 156 seats in 1906, causing several senior party members, including Grant Shapps, Penny Mordaunt, and Jacob Rees-Mogg, to lose seats. Even Chancellor Jeremy Hunt is in a close fight in his Surrey constituency.

The poll suggests an even grimmer picture for the Conservatives, with a lower estimate placing them at just 99 seats. Kelly Beaver, chief executive of Ipsos UK and Ireland, highlighted Labour’s gains in regions like Scotland and the North East. The Conservatives are losing support, particularly in the East, South of England, and the Midlands. This erosion of their base mirrors the sheep’s instinctive retreat from Sunak and Cameron.

Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, now running as an independent, is also predicted to lose his long-held Islington North seat. The Ipsos poll, conducted with 19,689 British adults using the MRP technique, aligns with a previous Survation poll predicting a substantial Labour majority.

The bleak outlook has prompted a defensive stance from the Tories. Despite the grim forecast, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak insists the election is still winnable. His colleagues, however, brace for defeat. In a desperate attempt to regain footing, the Conservatives have attacked Labour on taxation policies, warning that a Labour victory would result in unchecked power for the opposition.

Nigel Farage’s Reform UK party is expected to win seats, including Farage’s bid for Clacton and Lee Anderson’s in Ashfield, adding to the political shake-up. The potential increase in Reform UK’s influence, along with gains by the Greens and Liberal Democrats, highlights a major change in British politics. The Liberal Democrats are poised to increase their presence, securing 38 seats and reclaiming their status as the third-largest party.

Meanwhile, the Scottish National Party (SNP) faces uncertainty, expected to win around 15 seats, down from 48 in 2019. With 117 seats still too close to call, small changes in party performance could lead to major outcomes.

Kelly Beaver emphasized that the poll is just a snapshot of current voting intentions, noting that there is still time for changes. However, the overall sentiment reflects a nation on the brink of another seismic political shift.

The Conservative Party’s struggle to maintain control is much like Sunak and Cameron’s attempt to feed the sheep – a futile effort met with resistance and retreat. As the election looms, the Tories must confront the reality of their situation and strategize to avoid the impending disaster that seems to mirror their experience on that Devon farm.

OT. But I’ve no idea why there is a spitfire in the skyline of this cartoon, but hay ho.

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