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  Opinion   Edit  26 Jun 2024  AA Edit | Tories doomed to fail for first time in 14 yrs

AA Edit | Tories doomed to fail for first time in 14 yrs

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Jun 26, 2024, 3:07 am IST
Updated : Jun 26, 2024, 3:07 am IST

Rishi Sunak's Conservative Party struggles with scandals & public discontent, risking their 14-year reign as polls predict a Labour victory

Britain's Prime Minister and leader of the ruling Conservative Party, Rishi Sunak speaks during a general election campaign event at the Scottish Conservatives' manifesto launch in Edinburgh, Scotland, on June 24, 2024. (Photo by Phil Noble / POOL / AFP)
 Britain's Prime Minister and leader of the ruling Conservative Party, Rishi Sunak speaks during a general election campaign event at the Scottish Conservatives' manifesto launch in Edinburgh, Scotland, on June 24, 2024. (Photo by Phil Noble / POOL / AFP)

Having lurched from crisis to crisis in the last four years since the Covid pandemic, the Tories await the inevitable now. If the pollsters have captured the mood of the people right, the Conservatives, led by their country’s first Hindu Prime Minister, are doomed to fail in the polls hastily called for July 4 as a last throw of the dice by the captain of a sinking ship.

The well-meaning Rishi Sunak and his government are gasping for their last breath as the 14-year rule of the Tories appears ready to end. Having come to power as the leader of a coalition in 2010 and blundered into choosing the Brexit referendum as an option granted by the then PM David Cameron in 2016, the Tories have been haunted by as series of scandals ending with the latest one on insider betting on the general election dates, including by Tory poll candidates.

It is not illegal to bet in the UK where the bookmakers may even offer odds on the chances of Mr Sunak ascending the throne if he were ever so inclined to fancy himself to attain the impossible. But to do so with insider knowledge is considered a criminal act. And if proof were gathered to condemn those involved in the latest Tory shenanigan, there could even be prison time for some.

A cynical disregard for the rules as the betting caper was, it was only a distraction much as Mr Sunak skipping the 80th World War II commemoration of D-Day landing on the beaches of Normandy to attend a TV interview on the coming UK polls was political embarrassment. A whole set of events in which the Tory top brass behaved as if there was one rule for the rulers and quite another for the people, damaging their credibility with the public who are determined to oust them by handing them their biggest defeat in the history of the Conservative Party.

As the fourth UK PM since Mr Cameron and second in the wake of Boris Johnson’s resignation after Partygate, when he went from the heroic Brexiteer and champion vote catcher winning 365 seats for the Tories in 2019 to political villain, Mr Sunak could do little in 18 months even if the economy moved from recession to recovery and steep inflation which once caused inestimable heartburn during the cost-of-living crisis dropping to low as two per cent now.

His best of intentions notwithstanding, Mr Sunak, the Indian IT titan Narayana Murthy’s son-in-law, was seen as too detached from the real world and way too pleased with himself for his rise as an outlier to the head of one of Britain’s oldest political parties. And Tories wishing to dump him for Ms Penny Mordaunt or someone else found they had too little time for their revenge act when Mr Sunak called for early elections.

So much have the Tories crumbled in the public eye that the reform Party of UK, with Nigel Farage back in poll fray, are predicted to win their first UK seats even as a never-before low may be on the cards for those who kept Labour out for 14 years since 2010 after the highs of the Tony Blair and Gordon Brown years.

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