The next general election is only 17 months away at most. It is already seen as a “change election” – meaning that, on the basis of opinion polls and recent political contests, the party in power is likely to switch.
Conventional wisdom is that the Conservatives will most likely be out after 14 years continuously in power.
That outcome is of course in the lap of the electorate and cannot be taken for granted.
But it is the basis on which individual MPs make calculations about their futures.
Before any seats change hands, we can already say that there will be at least 75 new faces in the 2024/25 parliament.
That’s because 75 current members have already announced that they are not standing – and more than 50 of them were elected as Conservatives. A further 14 Labour MPs are stepping down, with seven from the SNP.
The overall turnover of MPs will be much larger anyway if it is a change election.
The pollster Frank Luntz recently warned Tory MPs that any of them with a majority less that 15,000 is “at risk”. There are around 180 in that category – half the current parliamentary party.
Now is the time when the main parties are choosing the candidates to fight the coming election in the seats they hold, the seats they regard as winnable and the seats viewed as not worth wasting further resources on.
The types of candidate being chosen, especially in their safe or target seats, tells us a…
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This notice was published: 2023-08-12 00:01:00
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