On Friday, scandals and high inflation caused Britain’s ruling Conservatives to lose substantial majorities in two constituencies, including the one where former Prime Minister Boris Johnson once resided. Due to a tight victory in the west London constituency of Uxbridge and South Ruislip, Rishi Sunak avoided being the first prime minister to lose three parliamentary seats in one day.
Rishi Sunak’s Party Loses two seats
The besieged Rishi Sunak may have found some solace in that outcome, but the loss of his party’s 20,000 majorities in the Selby and Ainsty district and its 19,000 majority in the Somerton and Frome seat will be devastating ahead of the anticipated general election in 2019.
Labor overcame its largest deficit at a by-election since World War Two by winning the northern England seat of Selby and Ainsty by 16,456 votes to 12,295 votes.
Keir Mather, the winning candidate, accused the government of “negligence and complacency” in his victory address, saying that “Conservatives here and in Westminster have failed us for too long.”
The Liberal Democrats defeated the Conservatives 21,187 to 10,179 in the Somerton and Frome constituency in southwest England. The winning candidate, Sarah Dyke, praised the “stunning and historic victory” and attacked the “woeful government” in her victory speech.
“We’ve been let down and treated like disposables. “Enough is enough. This government is too busy running a circus of chaos,” she argued.
The Conservatives surprised everyone by winning Uxbridge and South Ruislip, the seats Johnson previously held. The victory came as a shock to both London’s Labour mayor, Sadiq Khan, and Labour leader Keir Starmer.
The “number one” problem, according to winning candidate Steve Tuckwell, was Khan’s decision to extend a levy on polluting vehicles to outside London boroughs.
He predicted that Labour MPs in nearby constituencies “will now be panicking” and that this will probably lead to discussions between Starmer and Khan.