Ex-Tory Chancellor George Osborne Says 'Conservative Wipeout' May Be On The Cards

The former high-profile MP noted how the Conservatives have faced intense decline since September.
George Osborne painted a bleak picture of the Tories' future on Andrew Neil's show
George Osborne painted a bleak picture of the Tories' future on Andrew Neil's show
Channel 4

George Osborne gave a brutal summary of what the Conservatives’ future might look like unless drastic change is introduced – and quickly.

The former chancellor, who worked at the top of the Treasury from 2010 to 2016 under David Cameron, was dismissed from cabinet by Cameron’s successor, Theresa May.

Speaking to Channel 4′s Andrew Neil Show, Osborne painted a pretty bleak picture of life in the Conservative Party in the aftermath of Kwasi Kwarteng – and Liz Truss’s – catastrophic mini-budget and their subsequent U-turn over cutting the 45p tax cut rate.

“It’s a bit like, you know, the political experiment has blown up the chemistry lab,” he laughed. “Everyone’s sort of standing there with the wreckage you know, the political situation for the Conservatives.”

He said this was “markedly worse” than it was a few months ago when it comes to the Tories’ position in the opinion polls, the likelihood of a Labour victory – and “the likelihood of a Tory wipeout at a general election”.

A YouGov poll from the end of September found that Labour had an enormous 33-point lead over the government.

The Tories also seem more fragmented than ever after a chaotic annual conference in Birmingham, which saw even cabinet ministers openly disagreeing with No.10.

As Osborne noted: “Those things were not really on the cards on the day Liz Truss became prime minister.

″I think a Tory wipeout is potentially on the cards but we’ve got two years to run, so it still doesn’t feel, for a variety of reasons – including that Labour hasn’t quite sealed the deal in the way Tony Blair and Gordon Brown did in the 90s.

“But, it’s certainly a possibility.”

Having served as a Tory MP for Tatton for 16 years, this bleak prediction for his own former party is quite remarkable.

Just over a month into her new job as prime minister, Truss is already more unpopular than her predecessor Boris Johnson ever was.

As of last Wednesday, Truss’s net favourability fell to -59 – just 14% of the respondents said they had a favourable impression of her.

For comparison, Johnson’s lowest score was -53, which he received in July.

Truss is expected to be turning on the charm this week as parliament returns from recess, in a bid to reunite her party.


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