Britain’s Conservatives have lost their ‘safe’ place, beating Boris Johnson

LONDON – Britain’s Conservative Party lost Friday’s election in a district it has represented for more than a century, the second blow to Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a week – long political upheaval.

The race to elect a new Member of Parliament for North Shropshire, near the Wales border in north-west London on Thursday, was one of the largest recent polls in which voters abandoned the Conservative Party and voted in favor of the centrist Liberal Democrats. Years.

Helen Morgan, the winning Liberal Democrat candidate, defeated former Conservative legislator Owen Patterson by nearly 23,000 in the last 2019 general election. A former cabinet minister who has held the post since 1997, Mr. Patterson, finally resigned. Mr. to save him. A month after Johnson’s attempt failed, the campaign broke the rules.

Failure continues A rebellion on Tuesday In which Mr. About 100 of Johnson’s own lawmakers have refused to support government plans to curb the rapid spread of the Omicron corona virus variant. Mr. Johnson was embarrassed and the insurgency relied on the support of the opposition Labor Party to carry out his actions and usurp his power.

When the results were announced early Friday morning in North Shropshire, Ms Morgan received 17,957 votes; Neil Shastri-Hurst, Conservative, had 12,032; And Ben Wood, the Labor team received 3,686. Vote The vote count for Thursday’s election took place overnight.

“The people of North Shropshire spoke on behalf of the British people tonight.” Ms. Morgan said after her victory. “Boris Johnson, the party is over,” they said loudly and clearly.

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Mr. He added that voters had decided that Johnson was “unfit to lead and that they want change.” He thanked Labor supporters who voted for him, saying, “Together we have shown that the Conservatives cannot be defeated by deals behind closed doors, but by common sense at the ballot box.”

Although the Liberal Democrats hoped for a surprise victory, the size of their majority was significant and unexpected. Party leader Ed Davey described the decision as “a watershed moment”: “Millions of people were exhausted by voters last night because of Boris Johnson and the failure to provide leadership throughout. North Shropshire spoke for all of them.

Before losing the seat, two years after winning a landslide victory in the December 2019 general election, Mr.

To begin the no-confidence vote, his 54 lawmakers must write to Graham Brady, chairman of the committee representing Conservative backbenchers. Such letters are confidential but analysts do not believe the opportunity is near. Parliament is now at rest giving Mr. Johnson a narrow political breathing space.

Still, Friday’s results could add to the chaos on Downing Street because North Shropshire was one of the safest places for the Conservative Party, an area that supported Brexit in Britain. Is Johnson’s defining political agenda.

Despite their pro-European stance, the Labor-backed Liberal Democrats in North Shropshire in the 2019 general election – successfully presented themselves as the only credible challenge to the Tories in the constituency.

In doing so, they seem to have persuaded a significant number of Labor voters to convert to themselves in order to defeat the Conservatives. Liberal Democrats earlier this year They are Mr. Winning another seat from Johnson’s party caused another uproar Sesham and Amersham are in the well-heeled district of northwest London.

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To some extent, Mr. The circumstances under which Patterson resigned were always difficult to defend in the North Shropshire constituency for the Conservative Party. But last month, with failed attempts to save Mr Patterson, Mr Patterson became the main architect of the situation. Critics say Johnson was there.

After that Mr. Johnson’s position was weakened last year when his staff allegedly held Christmas parties during a ban on corona virus control on Downing Street.

Cabinet Secretary Simon Case is investigating the allegations and his report is expected soon. Mr. Johnson also faces questions about whether he misled his own ethical adviser about what he knew about the funding source for the expensive design of his Downing Street apartment.

In recent weeks Labor has outperformed the Conservatives in many polls, according to Mr. Johnson’s approval rating also fell. Political analysts said that considering the transactional nature of his party, this could put the Prime Minister at risk.

“The Tory party is a ruthless machine for winning elections,” said Jonathan Powell, the former chief executive of Prime Minister Tony Blair. “If this continues in an election cycle, the party will soon remove him.”

But despite the volatile political environment, most voters are increasingly concerned about the impact of the Omicron variation as they prepare for the holidays.

Mr. Johnson hopes for a political recovery in the rapid release of corona virus booster vaccines. His luck was revived when Britain’s early vaccination attempt earlier this year was fast and effective, allowing the country to lift all restrictions in July.

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Speaking before the North Shropshire results, Matthew Goodwin, a professor of politics at the University of Kent, said: Johnson could recover, but he said his mistakes could put Labor in danger of handing over the next election.

“I do not think it’s over for Johnson,” Professor Goodwin said. “I think it’s redeemable.” He added: “But Johnson has entered that frontier so that the opposition does not have to win elections because governments are losing them.”

Mr. Johnson was chosen to lead his party in 2019 because he had won the election and promised to ensure Britain’s exit from the EU.

As it stands now, his position could be affected if he is considered an election official for the party, said Professor Goodwin, Mr. Behind Johnson, he said, there is a perception among conservative lawmakers that “there is no philosophical or intellectual agenda.” Prime Minister. “

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