Local elections in Great Britain – Rishi Sunak runs out of options – stays in California – News


“Rishi Sunak is a nice person, but an incompetent politician.” Harsh words from Tim Montgomerie, once speechwriter for two former Conservative party leaders, William Hague and Iain Duncan Smith. Montgomerie says out loud what others only say behind closed doors – that there is no election to be won with Rishi Sunak. Several Sunak critics are already openly seeking allies to replace the prime minister with a more capable person. They believe that this is the only way to avert the looming crushing defeat in the parliamentary elections.

One name has been highly talked about for days: Penny Mordaunt, the President of the British House of Commons. Mordaunt should lead the Tories into the elections as interim prime minister. The “Rishi-must-go” movement is apparently gaining so much momentum that the aforementioned replacement, Penny Mordaunt, tried to slow down the momentum yesterday: “I’m not letting myself into Number 10 [der Amtssitz des Premiers] install like a new boiler.”

The unpopular prime minister

Things are going pretty badly for Rishi Sunak. The loss of seats in the local elections had become apparent. To limit the damage, Sunak tried to keep conservative voters happy by cutting taxes and deporting asylum seekers to Rwanda. However, without success: the tax cuts are more than eaten up by inflation and high mortgage interest rates. And the Rwanda program was approved by the parliament in Westminister shortly before the local elections after a long struggle. But even conservatives doubt whether the program will ever take off.

Whatever Sunak does, it doesn’t make him more popular: his popularity ratings have fallen to 22 percent. In surveys, 69 percent of respondents said they had a poor opinion of Sunak. And what worries the conservative MPs, who are worried about their re-election, even more: the electorate is turning away. Fifty-six percent of those who voted Conservative in the last national election now say they have lost confidence.

A new life in California?

What options are left for Rishi Sunak to avert total electoral loss for his party and for himself?

For now, Sunak is relying on the principle of hope: he assumes that inflation will continue to fall in the next few months and that he can sell this as a success during the election campaign. He also hopes that the economy will grow again soon – so that this can also be seen as a success. And: If the deportations to Rwanda can actually be initiated, this would appease national conservative hardliners in his party.

But: The open question remains whether his conservative MPs will let him continue – or want to force him out of office with a vote of no confidence. How serious the “Rishi-must-go-movement” is will become clear next week when the MPs meet again in Westminister.

If his group were to initiate a no-confidence vote, Sunak would be faced with a choice: sit out the crisis of confidence in the hope of surviving the vote. Or: He could flee forward – dissolve parliament and call new elections.

And his last option is to resign immediately and leave politics. As a former banker and multimillionaire, he has everything covered. He could take some time off – in California, for example, where he owns a second home.

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