The Tories need a 5%+ lead
We are going to hear a lot during this final phase of the Tory leadership contest about which of Truss or Sunak is best able to lead the party to another general election majority.
One of the factors that we have to bear in mind is that in order to hang on then the Tories led by Liz or Rishi probably need a lead on GB votes by at least 5%. This is a massive ask given where they are at the moment.
For starters it is entirely possible for Starmer to become PM even if LAB has fewer voters and seats than the Tories. The reason of course is that Labour will find it much easier to reach deals with other parties if they fall short of a majority. Sunak/Liz might just about get an arrangement with the DUP but that party is nothing like as strong as it was
At the last election the Tories had a GB vote lead over LAB of just under 12%. Anything less next time and the party will shed seats and the level of losses must be kept down to about 47 at the most. Here they will be fighting on three different fronts:
- Against the SNP in Scotland where the Tories are defending 6 seats
- Against the LDs in the so called blue wall seats which voted Remain and where there are a lot of graduates
- And against LAB in many of the seats won by the Tories at GE2019.
The real challenge for the Tories whoever is the leader is that it will be hard to find coalition partners if they don’t have an overall majority.
The biggest difference between next time and GE2019 is that Corbyn is no longer LAB leader and it was he rather than the appeal of BoJo which was the big driver last time.
Starmer is an entirely different proposition.