Is that a Conservative death rattle I hear?

When a party starts talking about ‘a good election to lose’ you know it has given up, writes John Rentoul

Saturday 21 May 2022 21:30
<p>The Conservatives have been in power for a long time </p>

The Conservatives have been in power for a long time

It is rare to spot “a good election to lose” in the wild, so when two come along at once you know something is up. Two articles were published in recent days that quoted anonymous Conservative MPs saying that it might do the party some good if it were defeated in 2024 and could spend time rebuilding itself in opposition.

First James Forsyth, writing in The Times, said that “some Tories are beginning to whisper a heretical thought”. A few hours later James Kirkup in The Spectator referred to “a couple of people who’d be good bets for cabinet rank some time in the next decade” and said “both have concluded that losing power at the next election would be no bad thing”.

Both sets of defeatists (or perhaps they overlap) give similar reasons for their calculation: the economic outlook is terrible; the Conservatives have been in power for a long time; a minority Labour government wouldn’t last.

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