Demand from the hardliners of the Conservative Party to dismiss Sunak and avoid electoral defeat in the United Kingdom

Demand from the hardliners of the Conservative Party to dismiss Sunak and avoid electoral defeat in the United Kingdom

Arrival of an electoral defeat that the polls announce as practically inevitable stimulates the audacity, almost recklessness, of the hardest and Eurosceptic wing of the Conservative Party, always ready to try a penultimate internal rebellion and shoot itself in the foot again.

On this occasion, former minister Simon Clarke has led the attempt to overthrow Rishi Sunak, warning about the result that would await the party at the polls if they kept Sunak as candidate.

Dissatisfaction with Sunak and the election threat

In a column published in the Daily Telegraph, the newspaper of reference for the hard wing of the Conservatives, Clarke warns his colleagues of the outcome that would await them in the general election if they keep Sunak as a candidate.

Clarke argues that if Sunak leads the party in an election, they will be slaughtered at the polls. While Clarke praises Sunak’s qualities, such as his decency, intelligence and dedication to the job, he argues that he does not have what the UK needs and is not listening to the demands of the British public.

This attempt to oust Sunak has the backing of David Frost, the EU exit negotiator most hated by Brussels. Frost represents the denialism of the most recalcitrant Tory Euroskeptics, who do not admit the economic and geopolitical failure of Brexit and blame politicians like Sunak for giving in to pragmatism on issues such as immigration, lower taxes and the application of international legality.

Frost has released a poll showing that the Conservatives could lose up to 200 seats to Labour if they do not change candidates.

Frost poll and reactions within the party

Poll commissioned by Frost from YouGov, through the Conservative Britain Alliance, reveals that in 375 constituencies, Conservative voters believe that a new candidate willing to lower taxes and be tougher on irregular immigrants could defeat Labour’s Keir Starmer.

However, the poll has raised suspicions due to a lack of transparency about who actually commissioned the survey and who is funding the Conservative Britain Alliance.

Response from many prominent Conservative Party figures has been lukewarm or even dismissive of the proposal to oust Sunak. Priti Patel, a former Home Secretary under Boris Johnson, has called Clarke “glib, divisive and self-indulgent,” and accused critics of playing into the hands of the Labour opposition.

For his part, former defense minister Liam Fox has blamed Clarke for falling into a “tribalism” that seeks to destabilize the party. Damian Green, representing the moderate wing, has described the maneuver as “misguided and unintelligent”.

Conservative Party’s historical-nostalgic dilemma

Conservatives have been locked in a historical-nostalgic debate: 1992 or 1997? Will Sunak pull off a surprise like John Major in 1992, winning a fourth consecutive victory for the party, or will he suffer a resounding defeat like the one Major suffered against Tony Blair in 1997?

Although polls have consistently shown an advantage for Labour candidate Keir Starmer, the various Conservative factions are clinging to the hope of a leadership change that will allow them to avoid electoral defeat.

Right-wing Conservatives believe that a tougher candidate could save the party from debacle. On the other hand, moderates and realists recognize that the electorate would not allow another leadership change without an election and see Sunak as their last lifeline.

Despite attempts at internal rebellion, Sunak has managed to weather the challenges and remain in office for more than a year.

Future prospects and the legacy of Brexit

Sunak faces a challenging year and nothing guarantees that he will survive in office and become the Conservative Party’s candidate. However, his main strength is the weariness of many Conservative MPs against the continuous conspiracies and experiments of those who already divided the party and the UK with the Brexit banner.

Internal unity and the ability to listen to the demands of the citizenry will be key to the future of the Conservative Party and its ability to remain a relevant political force in the UK.

Conclusions

Demands by Conservative Party hardliners to oust Sunak and avoid electoral defeat reflect internal tensions and ideological divisions within the party. While some members support the idea of a leadership change, others see Sunak as the best option to avoid a crushing electoral defeat.

The future of the party and its ability to remain a relevant political force will depend on its ability to maintain internal unity and listen to the demands of the citizenry. Time will tell if Sunak can overcome the challenges and lead the Conservative Party to electoral success.