Next Thursday looks like being a “mini referendum” on the PM

Next Thursday looks like being a “mini referendum” on the PM

This is the final weekend before next Thursday’s by-elections when the Tories will be defending Wakefield and Tiverton & Honiton in Devon. If these go the way of the betting then both seats will be lost thus reducing the CON seat total by 2 and increasing the non-CON total also by two.

It is a very rare for a party to lose two by-elections on the same day but this has come about by the excellent practice of the Johnson government of not waiting around when a vacancy occurs. It comes just two and a bit weeks since Johnson beat off a confidence vote amongst Tory MPs and inevitably this is how the results will be viewed.

Wakefield surely should return to what it was since 1933 a LAB seat. It only went to the Tories in the exceptional circumstances of GE2019.

The big fight is in the Devon seat which on the face of it looks like a certain CON hold. But the LDs are throwing a huge amount into it and expect hundreds of activists to be traveling there this weekend for the final push.

Last night I was in contact with a number of LD campaigners who are working hard speaking to voters in the Devon contest to get their sense of the importance of Johnson to the outcome. There was almost unanimous agreement that he is key.

Mike Smithson

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