British PM Fears Loss of Parliament Seat On the Eve of the UK’s General Election

Konstantinos K
Konstantinos Khttps://substack.com/@polity21hq
Konstantinos is a postgraduate student, researcher, and founder of the Polity21 brand. He specializes in Greek-Turkish relations, conflict and power politics in the Aegean, and the Eastern Mediterranean. His academic and journalistic interests also include Astropolitics, Remote Warfare, and U.S. Grand Strategy.

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British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is “fearful” of losing his seat and his Yorkshire constituency at tomorrow’s UK general election, according to a report from The Guardian, ahead of a predicted Labour Party landslide.

Projections for the Conservative government’s electoral demise vary widely, from the party winning just 53 seats to up to 150 seats in the new Parliament.

Sunak comfortably won the seat in 2019, holding just over 63 per cent of the total share of votes cast in the then Richmond (Yorks) constituency whose boundaries have since been redrawn, as per this year’s boundary changes.

The new constituency boundaries, introduced by the UK’s non-partisan and independent boundary commissions have been described as “the most radical redrawing of the UK’s electoral map for decades.” Model simulations of the 2019 election results using the updated electoral map suggest that the Conservative Party would have gained a marginally larger majority of seven MPs at the expense of Labour, the Liberal Democrats, and Wales’s Plaid Cymru.

A potential loss of Sunak’s seat to the Labour contender, Tom Wilson, would mark a historical first in British politics, given that no sitting Prime Minister has ever been unseated in a general election.

Sunak’s position has likely been further aggravated in light of his ill-timed departure from this year’s 80th D-Day anniversary to attend an ITV election interview back in the UK. Foreign Minister David Cameron stood in his place at the anniversary’s pinnacle moment attended by world leaders at Omaha Beach, Normandy.

This affront could potentially reflect more negatively on voters in the PM’s constituency, which hosts the British Army’s largest garrison in the country. With a razor-thin gap of about 3.5 per cent at the polls between Sunak and Labour’s Wilson, the electoral showdown in Richmond and Northallerton will certainly be one of election night’s most prominent highlights.

Against this backdrop, Mel Stride, a close ally of the Sunak and Secretary of Works and Pensions, stated earlier today that the Tory government is set for a record-breaking defeat of historic proportions.

Stride stressed that Labour’s victory at tomorrow’s elections is inevitable and expressed concern over “an untrammelled Labour party in power,” suggesting that voters need to support Conservative candidates in marginal seats to have a more balanced main opposition in Parliament the day after.

Former Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, echoed a similar message, highlighting the stakes of tomorrow’s vote for the Conservative Party:

“Thursday’s vote is now all about forming a strong enough opposition,” she wrote. “One needs to read the writing on the wall: it’s over, and we need to prepare for the reality and frustration of opposition.”

Labour leader and PM-in-waiting, Keir Starmer, decried Stride’s comments as an attempt at voter suppression:

“You can see what the Tories are up to […] They’re trying to invite people not to exercise their democratic right to go out and vote, trying to dissuade people from voting. That is a terrible place for the Tory party to have got to.”

“A once-respected party is now saying with 24 hours to go nothing that is positive, everything is negative, effectively, to run a campaign to suppress the vote.”

Polling stations will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. local time tomorrow. Final results across the UK’s 650 constituencies are projected to be announced at 7:00 a.m. Friday. The Blyth and Arlington constituency will likely be the first to announce their winning candidate at 11:30 p.m., while more results will be coming in overnight.