Tories will blame Boris Johnson for by-election loss — but he can still recover

Politico

Writing for Politico, Will Tanner shares his reaction to the North Shropshire by-election. He writes:

“Without No. 10’s ham-fisted attempts to reform Commons standards rules over Owen Patterson’s lobbying, the contest would never have taken place. Without rolling scandals over No. 10’s adherence to coronavirus rules, the result may have followed the previous by-election in Bexley and Old Sidcup 10 days ago in returning a Conservative MP on a reduced majority. The Tory candidate, a former doctor and soldier called Neil Shastri-Hurst whose main failing was not living in the seat, will be forgiven for thinking he was set up to fail.  

But however troubling the result is in isolation, it is not necessarily true that it says very much about the Conservative Party’s wider electoral fortunes. By-elections can change the political weather — as Tony Blair’s victory in Dudley West in 1994 undoubtedly did — but they often don’t. Few people remember Leicester South in 2004 or Corby in 2012 today, because despite strong swings against the governing party they went on to win majorities at the subsequent election.”

You can read the full article here.

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