A recent polling shows the Labor candidate ahead in Selby and Ainsty, where in 2019 Adams won more than 60 per cent of the vote. In Somerton and Frome, the centrist Liberal Democrat Party candidate appears to have a strong chance of ruling “My central expectation is that we lose all three,” a conservative lawmaker told the BBC.
Obviously, that’s not guaranteed. When I spoke to Joshua Simons, head of Labor Together, a think tank close to the Labor leadership, he suggested that the Conservatives were strategically exaggerating their pessimism to lower expectations. However, there is a broad sense that, with national elections coming up sometime in the next 18 months, the Conservative Party is imploding. “We Are In For Massive Defeat,” boomed a title in the Financial Times, citing a former Conservative cabinet minister.
Britain’s conservative collapse looks particularly stark when set against the rising right in much of the rest of Europe. Italy has a prime minister from a party with fascist roots. The far-right Vox could be part of the next government in Spain. There are right-wing governments in Sweden and Finland. Conservatives just won a second term in Greece. The last French election was a contest between the center-right Emmanuel Macron and the far-right Marine Le Pen, and although Le Pen lost, she seems to be. gaining support after the recent riots. Even in Germany, where shame over the Holocaust once seemed to inoculate its people against right-wing extremism, the reactionary Alternative for Germany just won its first mayoral election, and in a recent a poll it was the second most popular party in the country.
Yet in Britain, the right seems to be approaching something of a free fall, with a recent polling showing Labor with a 21-point lead nationally. It’s quite a turnaround because, until recently, the Conservatives were often called the most successful political party in the world. Less than four years ago, the party won its fourth consecutive national election by a stunning margin, leaving Labour, then led by the leftist Jeremy Corbyn, decimated. “It was catastrophic,” Reed said. “It was really questionable whether the Labor Party could survive.” A 2021 New Republic article was subtitled“How the Tories Became Invincible.”
It would be good, as someone who wants to see social democracy to thrive, to report that Labor has since discovered some brilliant strategy for bashing the right. In truth, however, if Tory hegemony in Britain is beginning to break down, the Tories deserve most of the credit, both for their dissipation and their mismanagement.