Warning Signs For The Tories?
The recent by-elections in David Cameron’s old seat in Witney on 20th October and the Richmond Park by-election on December 1st following Zac Goldsmith’s resignation have sent a clear warning shot across the bows of the Conservative party. Tory strategists will know only too well that they hold an overall majority in the House of Commons because they managed to win 27 seats from the Liberal Democrats in the South West in the 2015 General Election. The Tories had no net gain over Labour in 2015. Indeed the Labour vote went up by a higher percent than the Tory vote.
In Witney the Liberal Democrats increased their vote by 300%, while in Richmond Park they overturned a Conservative majority of over 23,000 to win the seat. Although those 27 seats in the South West are in an area that on balance voted for Brexit they are looking like increasingly uncertain holds for the Tories in any future General Election.