The Labour Party, assisted by campaign group Momentum, is about to unseat eight top Tories in the next election. And a glance at who’s going down is like Christmas come early.
The Jeremy Corbyn-led movement for change shocked the establishment in 2017. The Conservative Party lost its majority in parliament. Hit by an unprecedented swing in the polls, top Conservatives saw their constituency majorities heavily slashed. But many others weren’t so lucky. Nine of May’s government ministers lost their seats to a resurgent Labour.
Who’s going down?
Now, a campaign spearheaded by Momentum and journalist Owen Jones looks set to finish off eight of the most high-profile Tory MPs. The collapsing majorities of the targeted Tories show just how vulnerable they are. Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, saw his local majority chopped in half. Education Secretary Justine Greening’s fell by 85%. After a number of recounts, Amber Rudd’s majority nosedived by 93%. The Home Secretary holds onto her seat by just 346 votes.
The targets are:
- Justine Greening, MP for Putney – majority fell from 10,180 to 1,554.
- Amber Rudd, MP for Hastings and Rye – majority fell from 4,796 to 346.
- Anna Soubry, MP for Broxtowe – majority fell from 4,287 to 863.
- Boris Johnson, MP for Uxbridge & Ruislip – majority fell from 10,695 to 5,034.
- Iain Duncan Smith, MP for Chingford & Woodford Green – majority fell from 8,386 to 2,438.
- Philip Davies, MP for Shipley – majority fell from 9,624 to 4,681.
- Grant Shapps, MP for Welwyn Hatfield – majority fell from 12,153 to 7,369.
- Stephen Crabb, MP for Preseli Pembrokeshire – majority fell from 4,969 to 314.
Conservatives on course for a huge loss
The Corbyn movement was on an upwards trajectory when the general election hit. Opinion polls suggest that Labour would have won just a couple of days later.
Still, the momentum continues. While the media has been quieter on polling, Labour has been ahead in every poll except two since the election. And multiple surveys have shown people prefer Corbyn to May for Prime Minister.
Joseph Ejiofor, a member of Momentum’s National Coordinating Group, said:
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Labour offered a clear and viable alternative in the recent General Election and now Conservative cabinet members like Boris Johnson, Amber Rudd and Justine Greening are no longer sitting in safe seats…
We helped create a ‘Portillo moment’ for Nick Clegg in Sheffield Hallam in June, and we plan to do the same for senior Conservative MPs next time around.
A ‘Portillo moment’ refers to Labour unseating then Tory Defence Secretary Michael Portillo in the 1997 election.
‘You can make it happen’
Via social media, Owen Jones lays out the #Unseat plan:
— Momentum (@PeoplesMomentum) August 16, 2017
Christmas come early
It’s difficult to gauge which unseated Tory would make people happiest. Boris Johnson has referred to African people as “flag-waving piccaninnies” with “watermelon smiles”. As David Cameron’s Work and Pensions Secretary, Iain Duncan Smith faced a criminal investigation from Scottish police for policies that may have caused “countless deaths” of disabled citizens. Trump-supporting Philip Davies has repeatedly filibustered measures seeking to tackle domestic violence against women. (Filibustering is when an MP talks for so long in parliament that the time runs out, meaning the bill cannot pass.)
Along with the Conservative Party as a whole, these eight top Tories sit on wafer-thin majorities. While a large chunk of the public thinks May should resign, the establishment may well not let that happen. The powers that be are bricking it, given that another election may well put Corbyn in Downing Street.
Still, whenever the next election happens, we can take down these eight Tories and remove their party from government. If we all get involved, that is. Because the only way to win is to continue the conversations that powered the historic 2017 election result.
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