Party faithful urge Prime Minister Sunak to enforce tax cuts and stronger immigration control to regain voter trust
In response to recent by-election defeats in Mid Bedfordshire and Tamworth, Conservative party members are rallying for a return to fundamental Tory principles to regain voter allegiance and fend off Labour’s rising tide. The call for a political reorientation, led by figures such as Tory MP Jonathan Gullis, emphasises the necessity for “common sense policies” to restore the British public’s faith.
Gullis expressed his concerns in the Daily Express, stating, “The by-elections show us that the Conservative voter base is dissatisfied with our track record but does not want a Labour Government. The public is waiting for us to give them proper cause and reason to get out and vote for us.” He stressed the importance of leveraging the political realignment post-Brexit and the Tories’ landslide victory in 2019, to introduce policies that resonate with traditional Conservative values.
Sir John Hayes, chairman of the backbench Common Sense Group of Tory MPs, echoed Gullis’ sentiments, urging the party to “fight the next election on our territory, not Labour’s” and focus on “true blue” Conservative priorities “like immigration and public order”. Tom Hunt, another Tory member, called for an “authentically Conservative approach”, encompassing reduced net migration, opposition to the “woke agenda”, and tax reductions.
The need for a more decisive stance on issues like migration and taxation was also emphasised by Danny Kruger, a member of the New Conservatives group, and Brexiteer Sir John Redwood. Kruger referred to the by-election results as a “wake-up call” to act “bolder on taxation,” while Redwood highlighted the detrimental impact of high tax burden on growth and public morale.
These calls for a political recalibration come in the wake of Labour’s significant victories, which saw them overturning long-standing Tory majorities, marking the largest swing in votes since 1945. Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, buoyed by these wins, has expressed ambitions to emulate Tony Blair’s electoral successes, posing a clear threat to the Conservative stronghold.
The electoral dynamics have led to self-reflection within the Conservative party, with Tory chair Greg Hands attributing the losses to “specific circumstances” in the constituencies and noting a concerning trend of Conservative voter abstention. Prime Minister Sunak, in an attempt to rejuvenate Tory fortunes, has made several policy announcements recently. However, these initiatives have yet to translate into a significant improvement in opinion polls for the Conservatives.
This rallying cry for a return to core Conservative ideologies underscores a pivotal moment for the party as it strategises to re-establish a connection with its traditional voter base, aiming to thwart Labour’s momentum ahead of the 2024 general elections. The unfolding political narrative sets a demanding task for Prime Minister Sunak to realign the party’s agenda with the broader conservative ethos to ensure a robust challenge to Labour’s burgeoning popularity. Story source