The Tories are terrified of an election

They're riding low in the polls without the cash or activists to fight an election,

One obvious way to resolve the Brexit deadlock is for Theresa May to call a general election – but she won’t do it because her party is terrified they will lose.

How do we know they’re terrified? For starters, because they keep saying so.

Former leader William Hague said in a Telegraph column today that the party’s situation was as bad as it was when he took over the party in 1997. He wrote:

“The Conservative Party, I sense, is in danger of losing the support of hopeful young people with ambitions, and it cannot win elections without such people.”

Another Tory of Hague’s era, David Davis, told the Today Show an election was “unwise”, adding that Theresa May is “not a good campaigner”.

Tory Peer Robert Hayward, who is described by the Guardian as an election expert warned:

“The prime minister has been given the message loud and clear that there should not be an election. If you are a Conservative MP with anything other than a massive majority, you do not want one.”

For a warning that snap elections can lose Tory MPs their seats, Theresa May does not have to look far.

Her Chief of Staff Gavin Barwell, the author of a book called ‘how to win a marginal seat’, lost his marginal seat in Croydon at the last election.

So why are they all so worried? Because of polling. A DeltaPoll poll conducted last Thursday to Saturday showed Labour five points ahead.

Removing the leader is no quick fix for the Tories. The same poll found that even if Theresa May was removed, Labour would still be four points ahead.

The Independent Group aren’t necessarily going to come to the Tories’ rescue either.

Even when reminded they exist by the pollster, and assuming they stand candidates in every seat, the poll suggested Labour would still be three points ahead.

This is the public polling. According to ITV’s Robert Peston, The Tories will also be doing private polling – which is being shown to Cabinet today.

If there’s still no election called this week, we will know that the private polling was no better than the public polls.

Of course, the polls can change during an election campaign. For them to change in your direction though, it’s helpful to have two things – activists to knock on doors and money.

On activists, the Conservatives are struggling and have been for decades. While Labour has over half a million members, the Conservative Party has about 124,000 – less than a quarter of Labour’s numbers.

On money, while Labour has been supported by trade unions and their members, the Conservatives have always been backed by big business and rich individuals.

Now though, the i newspaper has cited insiders who say that the party is in a “cash crisis” because donors are angry at the Brexit chaos. Boris Johnson reportedly saying “fuck business” probably didn’t help.

So riding low in the polls, and without the cash or people to fight their best election campaign, it’s easy to understand why the Tories are terrified of this way out of the Brexit deadlock.

Joe Lo is a reporter for Left Foot Forward

As you’re here, we have something to ask you. What we do here to deliver real news is more important than ever. But there’s a problem: we need readers like you to chip in to help us survive. We deliver progressive, independent media, that challenges the right’s hateful rhetoric. Together we can find the stories that get lost.

We’re not bankrolled by billionaire donors, but rely on readers chipping in whatever they can afford to protect our independence. What we do isn’t free, and we run on a shoestring. Can you help by chipping in as little as £1 a week to help us survive? Whatever you can donate, we’re so grateful - and we will ensure your money goes as far as possible to deliver hard-hitting news.

4 Responses to “The Tories are terrified of an election”

  1. Elizabeth Chell

    Glad to see that people are waking up to the reality of what the Tory hard right have been doing: putting self-interest first, and not caring a damn about country, people or business. We need to see May out & a GE called. May should not simply be replaced & the Tories continue in power without a GE; they would have no democratic mandate.

  2. nshgp

    Yep. The reason is May has made a hash of the referendum.
    So they won’t call one until the UK is out.
    They won’t call one until May is out and scapegoated.
    Then they will wait for the new leader, who will be a leaver. The members will see to that.

    So what happens then? Well leaver MPs will be deselected or leave.
    Hammond will be replaced.
    If sensible they don’t pay the EU the 200 plus billion they demand and is hidden in the Withdrawal agreement. They instead spend 1.4 bn on the schools funding gap. 1 bn on fixing up hospitals. They cancel welfare for recent EU nationals. [No recourse to public funds], and they give people a tax cut.

    Nothing like bribing people with their own money eh!

    So what can labour do? It’s riven with the same splits. Corbyn is sitting on the fence and must have splinters in his piles. He can’t please Met Elite and working class labour at the same time.

    Propose a referendum 2 and Labour’s toast. Don’t propose ref 2 and the leavers move to Lib Dems.

    Depending on how it plays out you could see a Scottish style wipe out

  3. Patrick Newman

    There will be no deal while May is PM. She has to go and the moderates in the Cabinet have to do a deal with Corbyn to support a caretaker PM for three months. He can put a vote of no confidence against May and then support a vote of confidence in say Lidington. A cabinet of national unity might be stretching it a bit! A general election will not sort the present impasse out unless there is something like a six to 1 years delay which brings in the European Parliament elections.
    PS nhsgp – you are just a crook!

  4. ron keating

    Since when has it been Corbyn’s role to keep May and the tories in power – treason knows no bounds

Comments are closed.