Is it Christmas, or is it electioneering?

The Reform Party may take away votes from both the Conservative and Labour parties. But, is there a deal to be struck between the Conservatives and the Reform Party to keep Labour out of office?

1 min read
Reform UK leader Richard Tice addresses the conference.

Rishi Sunak has received a stark warning of a potential landslide election victory for the Labour Party as both sides gear up for the next by-election in Wellingborough. This safe seat was won by the Conservatives in 2019 with a majority of 18,540.

A by-election will be held in the constituency after MP Peter Bone, 71, was removed from his seat by a recall petition due to an embarrassing misdemeanour and was subsequently suspended from the House of Commons.

By-elections often set the mood music, even at the most ordinary times. However, today the clamour is “No to Labour, No to Conservatives, then vote Reform” – the party formerly known as Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party, now named “Reform UK” and led by Richard Rice.

Nigel Farage recently commented: “This Government is in desperate trouble, heading for a catastrophic defeat. They have no idea what’s coming down the track towards them. And I think the last thing I heard before I went into the jungle (Celebrity Australia) was that Cameron was back… if it’s got that bad, they must be in real trouble.”

Your choice: Starmer or Tice at the next general election?

A strong showing by the “Reform UK party” at the next General Election may benefit Labour. This is due to the difficulty Reform UK faces in winning many seats via the “first past the post” election system in the UK. A General Election in the UK must be held before January 20, 2025. P.M. Sunak has already given the starting gun by committing that 2024 will be an election year. So why is there so much speculation now?

Sunak is trailing in opinion polls by 20%, and Starmer is now considered unpopular among the electorate, according to Prof. Sir John Curtis of the University of Strathclyde.

“Christmas offers the promise of a better world,” said Rishi Sunak in his Christmas message. However, there is much speculation that Sunak could call a snap election to upset all polls. When Sunak became Prime Minister, he was less unpopular than his party, but today both he and his party seem unpopular, and so is the Labour Leader.

The Reform Party may take away votes from both the Conservative and Labour parties. But, is there a deal to be struck between the Conservatives and the Reform Party to keep Labour out of office?

Has Chancellor Jeremy Hunt played the “wild card” by bringing forward the National Insurance tax change from the April Tax year 2024 to January 2024, fuelling a snap general election? It is anybody’s guess.

Victor Cherubim

Victor Cherubim is a London-based writer and a frequent columnist of the Sri Lanka Guardian

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