UK Tory Party Chairman Says 'Fed Up' Voters 'Gave us a Kicking' as Lib Dems Win North Shropshire
07:09 GMT 17.12.2021 (Updated: 21:39 GMT 18.10.2022)
The Conservatives have lost the North Shropshire seat they'd held for nearly 200 years to the Liberal Democrats. The crushing defeat in the by-election has widely been interpreted as a voter backlash against the Boris Johnson government, which has been rocked by multiple scandals.
North Shropshire voters were "fed up" and "gave us a kicking", said UK Conservative Party Chairman Oliver James Dowden hours after Tories suffered a shock by-election loss.
"I think they wanted to send us a message and I want to say, as chairman of the Conservative Party: we've heard that loud and clear," Dowden said.
Even though Liberal Democrat Helen Morgan managed to win a Conservative heartland, Dowden still has confidence that Prime Minister Boris Johnson has the leadership skills to see the party through this period and the next election, due in 2024.
According to Dowden, Johnson still is an electoral asset and that when it comes to the big calls, the prime minister "has got it right."
"We have already put support in place, of course we watch this hour by hour, day by day, and I know the chancellor is very closely engaged but at the moment we have appropriate support in place," Oliver Dowden said.
On Friday, the Conservative party lost the North Shropshire seat, which they'd held for nearly 200 years, to the Liberal Democrats.
Liberal Democrat candidate Helen Morgan won the by-election with majority of nearly 23,000 votes with a turnout of 46.2 percent. The by-election for the North Shropshire House of Commons in the West Midlands was held on 16 December.
17 December 2021, 04:21 GMT
It was prompted by the resignation of Conservative MP Owen Paterson on 4 November 2021. Paterson, a former minister for Northern Ireland, resigned after having been caught lobbying illegally for two firms as a paid consultant. The ruling Conservative party insisted that the probe itself was flawed.
The election was held as UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson saw his favourability rating drop to an all-time low after a public outcry over a Christmas party that his government had allegedly held during last year's lockdown and a series of other scandals, such as suggestions that he improperly accepted donations to fund the lavish refurbishment of his Downing Street flat, attempts to shield Paterson from illegal lobbying allegations and suspension, as well as a "rambling" address to the British business community in which he professed his love for Peppa Pig World.