Senior Tory Says It's 'Almost Impossible' For Party To Win General Election

Charles Walker says all Rishi Sunak can do is make sure Labour does not "wipe the floor with us".
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A senior Tory MP has said it is now “almost impossible” for Rishi Sunak to win the next general election, following Labour’s victory at the Chester by-election.

Keir Starmer’s party doubled its majority to 10,974 in the vote on Thursday, in a further boost to the Labour leader.

Charles Walker, the veteran MP for Broxbourne, said the by-election had been a “sort of live fire exercise” for the Tories’ performance in the polls.

“It’s almost impossible to see us coming back from this, I suspect, we will lose the next general election,” he told Times Radio.

“I think the scale of the loss reflects where we stand in the opinion polls at the moment.”

Walker, who is standing down from parliament at the election having served since 2005, said he hoped Sunak could at least limit the party’s losses in 2024.

“I hope what Rishi Sunak does is make sure Labour doesn’t wipe the floor with us, so that we perhaps win 220 seats,” he said.

“Which was not the case in 1997, when we went down to having 165 Members of Parliament.”

The by-election was called after the incumbent Labour MP Christian Matheson resigned after complaints – which he denied – of “serious sexual misconduct”.

It was the first by-election since Boris Johnson was ousted and the market chaos that defined Liz Truss’s short stint in No.10.

Professor John Curtice, one of the country’s leading polling gurus, told BBC Radio 4′s Today programme that Labour was on course to be the next government.

He said if the Chester result was repeated at the election then Labour would “undoubtedly” form a majority.

A YouGov poll released on Thursday, as voters went to the polls in Chester, showed Labour hold a 25 point lead nationally over the Conservatives.


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