He was already surrounded by scandals, here he is weakened at the polls. The British Prime Minister suffered a serious setback Thursday, December 16, following the defeat of the Conservative Party in a partial legislative in England.
Two years after his triumph in the general election, won on the promise of achieving Brexit, Boris Johnson, 57, now risks a serious crisis of authority among the Tories, or even a vote of no confidence to replace him at the head of the majority, and therefore of the government. A rout that comes as his government faces an outbreak of coronavirus – more than 88,000 new cases Thursday, a new record for the second day in a row – due to the Omicron variant.
The partial legislature of North Shropshire, a very rural constituency in central England long won over by the Conservatives, was thus won by the Liberal Democrats. The LibDem candidate, a small Europhile party, Helen Morgan, won with 47% of the vote, nearly 6,000 votes ahead of her conservative rival, according to official results, announced early Friday morning.
” The party is over “
Voters expressed “Clearly” to Boris Johnson that ” the party is over “, she launched in her speech after the announcement of her victory. “Your government, led by lies and swagger, will be held to account, added Helen Morgan, he can and will be defeated. “ The new 46-year-old member of Parliament thus robs the Conservatives of the seat of Owen Paterson, in office since 1997, who had to resign over a lobbying affair.
In the last legislative elections of 2019, he obtained 62.7% of the vote and a comfortable majority of almost 23,000 votes. The participation rate in this very rural constituency of England, acquired for decades to the Tories, amounted Thursday to 46.3% (or 38,093 voters according to the final count), far from the 62.9% reached during the general elections of December 2019.
Boris Johnson came to Mr Paterson’s rescue in November by trying to change the disciplinary rules of Parliament, before backing down in the face of the outcry even in his own camp. This scandal, which is part of a long series of embarrassing cases – from accusations of corruption in his party to those of violations of health restrictions – has weakened Boris Johnson.
The British leader’s popularity has plummeted and recent polls on voting intentions put the Labor opposition several points ahead of the opposition. In particular, recent revelations about the holding of festive events at the end of 2020 in Downing Street go very badly with the British, so asked to reduce their social interactions to the extreme.
Sling of his majority
Added to this, Thursday, the revelation by the newspapers The Guardian and The Independant of a brief appearance by Boris Johnson at a pot in Downing Street on May 15, 2020, despite health restrictions. Downing Street referred to a meeting “With the Minister of Health at the time [Matt Hancock] and his team in the garden after a press conference ”.
These cases come at the worst for Mr Johnson, at a critical time when the UK faces, on his terms, a ” tsunami “ contamination due to the Omicron variant of the coronavirus in a country which deplores nearly 147,000 deaths. His weakened credibility, he struggled, Tuesday, in Parliament, to get new anti-Covid-19 restrictions accepted.
Ultimate snub, he faced an unprecedented sling of his majority: 99 deputies voted against the establishment of a health pass for major events, deemed to be liberticidal – a measure finally adopted thanks to the votes of the Labor opposition. Party-wide, only former Prime Minister Theresa May had seen worse since World War II.