Weakened by the scandals, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is currently facing two difficult complementary electoral contests, which will test his ability to bring victory to his party.
Two weeks after surviving a not-so-glorious motion of censure on the partygate, the prospect of losing two House of Commons seats to the Tories in two politically significant constituencies threatens to fuel a negative atmosphere against him.
At Wakefield in the north of England, the stakes are in a Labor stronghold that was “conquered” in December 2019 during the sweeping victory of Boris Johnson and the Conservatives.
Hoping to recover that piece of the “red wall” that collapsed in the previous election, Labor leader Kir Starmer said Wakefield could become the birthplace of the next Labor government.
Polls give Labor leader Simon Lightwood, a member of Britain’s National Health Service, the NHS, a comfortable lead – 20 percentage points.
The by-elections were triggered by the resignation of MP Imran Khan, who was sentenced to 18 months in prison for sexually assaulting a 15-year-old teenager.
The constituency was in the hands of the Labor Party continuously from 1932 until 2019.
Tiverton and Honiton, a constituency in the south-west of England, has been in the hands of the Tories since its inception in 1997. Voters are being asked to choose a replacement for Neil Paris. The 65-year-old MP submitted his resignation after admitting that he was looking at pornographic material on his mobile phone in the hall of the House of Commons.
A former farmer then explained that he had stumbled upon a pornographic website looking for a tractor and returned to it “in a moment of madness”.
The Liberal Democrats hope to prevail in the constituency, as they did last December in North Shropser, a Conservative stronghold in northern England, which was lost in a lobbying scandal.
As a sign of the negative atmosphere in Tiverton and Honiton for the Tories, the candidate Helen Harford twice refused to comment on the honesty of Boris Johnson in an interview with The Guardian. The prime minister “believes he is honest,” he said.
Boris Johnson, the “victory machine”, prevailed triumphantly in the elections of December 2019, investing in his commitment to implement Brexit. His image collapsed under the weight of a series of scandals that have tarnished his tenure.
Theoretically, he has saved his head, since the rules in force in the Conservative Party do not allow the submission of a new motion of censure before the lapse of one year.
Partygate, inflation, immigrants… and most recently Carriegate
Wanting to project the image of an active leader on the international stage, Boris Johnson canceled his appearance in the North of England last week to make another appearance alongside Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv.
On the domestic front, the situation is unfavorable for the Johnson administration, which is facing rampant inflation, which is at its highest level in 40 years, above 9%, which is causing social unrest, as well as the failed deportation attempt. immigrants in Rwanda.
And all this after the scandal of the parties on Downing Street (partygate), to which Carriegate was added, with the recent revelations that Boris Johnson, when he was Foreign Minister, tried to appoint his then mistress, and now his wife, to positions of responsibility , Carrie Simonts.
“I do not think people are necessarily looking at the local candidate,” a Wakefield resident recently said. “I think they are really looking at what the government has done in general and taking it into account.”