What the Tories’ Defeat Will Mean for the U.K.

What the Tories’ Defeat Will Mean for the U.K.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen meets with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak during the U.N. COP27 Climate Change Conference, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, Nov. 7, 2022 (Press Association photo by Steve Reigate via AP Images).

Tomorrow’s general election in the U.K. comes at a time when the far right appears to be surging across the West, making recent gains in Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Germany and elsewhere. In France, the far right is on the doorstep of forming a government, and the U.S. presidential election in November could very well return former President Donald Trump to power.

And yet, the U.K. will be moving in the opposite direction. Tomorrow’s vote is all but guaranteed to see voters turn their backs on a Tory Party that, after 14 years in power, has become increasingly dominated by its far-right faction. The only real unknown is how bad the Tories’ defeat will be.

As we’ve talked about in prior Daily Reviews, there are a number of factors that have led to the Tory Party’s unraveling, the most notable being Brexit. The divisive debates surrounding the Brexit referendum in 2016 initially seemed to reconfigure the country’s political landscape in the Tories’ favor. But those debates, especially over the question of how to implement Brexit, also empowered the party’s far-right wing, pushing the Tories toward the populist extremes, while the Labour Party moved back to the “responsible” center.

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