Johnson suffers defeat in England and Wales

Johnson suffers defeat in England and Wales

A defeat in either district would have been a setback for the prime minister's party. Both losing both increases the jitters among restive Conservatives who already worry that Johnson is no longer an electoral asset despite the fact that erratic and divisive Johnson is no longer an electoral asset.

Oliver Dowden, party chairman, said his supporters were distressed and disappointed by recent events, and I share their feelings. He said that we can't carry on with business as usual. I have concluded that it wouldn't be right for me to stay in office in these circumstances because I have concluded that someone has to take responsibility. He said that he will not give an endorsement of Johnson, because he will remain loyal to the Conservative Party.

The prime minister was 4,000 miles away at a Commonwealth summit in Rwanda when the results were announced.

The tests came after Britain faced the worst cost-of-living crisis in a generation, with Russia s war in Ukraine squeezing supplies of energy and food staples at a time of rising consumer demand and the coronaviruses epidemic recedes.

Johnson said in Kigali the results had been tough and he would listen to what people are saying, in particular to the difficulties people are facing over the cost of living. Johnson won a big majority in the general election in 2019 by keeping the Conservatives as traditional voters — affluent, older and concentrated in southern England — and winning new ones in poorer, post-industrial northern towns, where many residents felt overlooked by governments for decades.

The elections on Thursday brought a lot of defeat on both fronts. Rural Tiverton and Honiton voted Conservative for generations, while Wakefield is a northern district that the Tories won in 2019 from Labour.

Labour s widely expected victory in Wakefield, whose previous Conservative legislator resigned after he was convicted of sexual assault, is a boost to a party that has been out of office nationally since 2010.

Labour leader Keir Starmer said it showed that the party is back on the side of working people, winning seats where we lost before, and ready for government.