Labour reclaimed the Wakefield seat they lost at the general election in 2019 with a 12.69 per cent swing. It’s believed Keir Starmer’s party will win a majority at the next general election – allowing them to form a government – if they enjoy a similar swing nationwide.
More damning for the Tories was their defeat in Tiverton & Honiton. The Tories boasted a 24,239 majority after the last general election, but the Liberal Democrats won the seat by more than 6,000 votes – representing a 29.93 per cent swing from the Tories. The impact of the two by-elections is already being felt by the Tories. Party co-chair Oliver Dowden resigned on Friday morning, insisting “somebody must take responsibility” for their poor results.
Johnson’s party was also hammered in May’s local elections.
The results are a reflection of the public’s mood following the Partygate scandal, which saw several top Tories – including Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak – fined for attending gatherings during the lockdown. The Metropolitan Police handed out 126 fines in total.
Millions of people across the country are also struggling with the cost of living crisis with prices soaring in recent months. Johnson recently survived a narrower-than-expected vote of confidence by Tory MPs and his grip on power is dwindling with each passing day.
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Manchester United legend Neville, a Labour member, was tweeting throughout the early hours of Friday morning and was keen to let Johnson know his thoughts. “The Conservatives lose Tiverton,” tweeted Neville. “A 30 per cent vote swing against them!
“He’s [Johnson] a liability to us all and willing to take everyone down including his own MPs. He will say something daft in Rwanda [the country he is currently visiting] to distract us. The tiresome game he’s playing is coming to an end, though.”
Neville, who has urged his followers to “communicate to every Tory MP enough is enough”, later added: “Wakefield back with Labour. The voters of Wakefield and Tiverton sending a very clear message. Time for change!”
The former England international saved his most brutal message for Dowden’s resignation. “They think it’s all over, it is now!” tweeted Neville. “Johnson should apply for immigration in Rwanda. He’s done here.”
Neville’s tweet was a refence to the Tories’ controversial immigration policy, which aims to relocate some asylum seekers to Rwanda. To date, no asylum seekers have been relocated to Rwanda. Home Secretary Priti Patel has been heavily criticised for the policy.
Yet Neville’s gleeful dissection wasn’t over. “The Conservative Party is on the brink of complete collapse here,” he added. “Yet the dictator still stands defiant. This is what a failing organisation looks like. The problem is they’re running our country. Oliver Dowden going is a big one. He knows it’s a sinking ship!”