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UK Conservatives in ‘serious trouble’ from Nigel Farage’s upstart party, left-wing on track for historic win

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The United Kingdom this week faces a potentially historic election as the Conservative Party’s reign of 14 years looks set to come to a crashing end following turbulent years and difficulty finding a clear leader the people could back.

“Polls indicate that the Conservatives are in serious trouble, and, in my view, I think a socialist government would be disastrous,” Nile Gardiner, director of the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom at the Heritage Foundation and a former aide to Margaret Thatcher, told Fox News Digital. “But after 14 years of Conservative rule, the British public have turned against the Conservatives.”

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in May announced the snap election on the same day the U.K. announced that it had brought inflation down to 2.3%, marking the lowest level in three years. On the back of that economic success, Sunak stood in the pouring rain and declared that a national election would take place on July 4. 

The Conservative Party – also known as the Tories in the U.K. – immediately found itself fighting on two fronts as Nigel Farage announced his return to politics and assumed leadership of the Reform UK Party.

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Polls already indicated unfavorable conditions for the Tories when Sunak announced the election, with the Tories lagging the rival Labour Party by about 20 points. Over the past six weeks, though, Labour remained consistently above 40% share, while the Tories lost voter share to Reform. 

As the voters head to the polls on July 4, Labour dipped just below 40% for the first time during the campaign cycle, while conservatives once again brought their heads above 20%, with Reform sitting at about 17.5% and the Liberal-Democrats hovering above 10%, according to aggregated polling data analyzed by Reuters.

“It’s very difficult to predict the number of seats that Reform will win,” Gardiner advised. “They’ll definitely win some seats, but it’s very difficult to say how many they will get.” 

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“The Conservatives, I think, will remain the main opposition to the Labour Party because [with] the first past the post system, parties like Reform will struggle to win a large number of seats even if they win 15% to 20% of the vote, because that’s the way the system works.”

“Reform will capture a very significant percentage of the British vote, but that does not necessarily translate into a large number of seats,” he added, acknowledging that Reform has a “very successful party” and is “a force in British politics.” 

Nigel Farage

The Green Party has a roughly 5% share, which could see them still manage to snag their greatest-ever number of seats and snag a foothold in Parliament. The party has one Member of Parliament (MP) but was able to secure 74 seats across England’s local elections in early May, hitting their highest number of seats in local councils, according to the BBC. 

However, all eyes remain on the top-billing contest between Labour and the Conservatives, which so far appears headed for a historic majority of around 280 seats for Labour, marking the largest post-war majority in Parliament.

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Of the 632 seats available across the U.K., The Economist’s latest poll projected Labour to win 465, leaving the Conservatives with around 76 – a severe collapse from its near-historic 365 seats won in 2019 under Boris Johnson.

Since Johnson, whose term ended after the infamously scandal-proof minister succumbed to the furor over COVID-era lockdown hypocrisy, the Conservatives appointed Liz Truss, whose term ended after 50 days, and then Rishi Sunak, who spent most of his term fighting against criticism that he did not take a conservative approach to policy and politics. 

Keir Starmer

“The Conservative Party has abandoned many of its own voters,” Gardiner claimed. “It has failed to advance conservative ideas and principles recently, and I think that many conservative voters have just abandoned the Conservative Party – they’re switching to Reform.” 

“I think in the next five years, the Conservatives will have to rebuild as a party on the right by returning to conservative, Thatcherite principles,” he said, lamenting that the Conservatives “could be facing, potentially, the biggest defeat in 100 years.”

“The outlook is very grim,” he added. 

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The Conservative Party allowed the Brexit referendum vote, which resulted in the UK Independence Party fulfilling its dream of getting Britain out of the European Union. Politicians debate the extent to which that move has succeeded or failed, with Farage, its chief architect, defending the decision by arguing that the Conservatives “mismanaged this totally,” Sky News reported. 

As such, Farage’s Reform has pushed into every constituency in a bid to create a huge contingent in Parliament. Farage has staked a larger goal of attempting a potential “reverse takeover” of the Conservative Party with Reform.

Voting location UK

“You can speculate as to what’ll happen in three or four years’ time, all I will tell you is if Reform succeeds in the way that I think they can, then a chunk of the Conservative Party will join us – it’s the other way around,” Farage told ITV’s “Good Morning Britain” in early June. 

Referring to Canada, Farage argued that “Reform did a reverse takeover of the Conservative Party, rebranded it and Stephen Harper – who was elected as a Reform MP – became the Canadian prime minister for 10 years.” 

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