Tories are now on life support after this truly historic and humiliating defeat

THE British people have inflicted a truly historic and humiliating defeat on the Conservative Party.

It awoke yesterday morning battered and bruised, having been put on life support with just 121 seats.

Rishi Sunak and wife Akshata Murty leave Downing Street after a Labour landslide

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Rishi Sunak and wife Akshata Murty leave Downing Street after a Labour landslideCredit: PA
The British people have inflicted a truly historic and humiliating defeat on the Conservative Party

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The British people have inflicted a truly historic and humiliating defeat on the Conservative Party

That’s their lowest number in history.

Meanwhile, Sir Keir Starmer and Labour have been propelled into government with a commanding majority of 176 — their largest win since 1997.

How did it come to this?

How did the Conservative Party go from winning a commanding 80-seat majority in 2019, and capturing the Red Wall, to being utterly humiliated only five years later?

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Some will point to specific events like Partygate or the Liz Truss Budget.

Others to the lacklustre leadership of Rishi Sunak, including his disastrous decision during the election campaign to leave the D-Day anniversary early.

But the answer runs much deeper than this.

The reason why the Conservatives have been utterly repudiated by the British people is because they have fundamentally lost touch with their core voters — the very people who have been voting for them since 2016.

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Just look at the results.

The striking Tory collapse was most dramatic in the most strongly pro-Brexit areas of the country where the party was completely smashed not by Labour but Nigel Farage and Reform UK.

Keir Starmer delivers his first speech as PM

While the Tory vote collapsed by 12 points in less strongly pro-Brexit seats, it collapsed by nearly 30 points in staunchly pro-Brexit areas.

In these places, a massive chunk of the Tory electorate simply decamped en masse to Farage and Reform, while Labour’s vote, especially in England, basically remained static.

This is one of the most important — yet so far neglected — aspects of the result.

Sir Keir’s massive majority owes more to the sheer scale of this Tory collapse than to any eruption of mass public enthusiasm for the Labour Party.

Labour’s share of the vote in England has stayed as flat as a pancake, only increasing by 0.6 per cent, while it actually declined in Wales.

It was only in Scotland where Labour surged.

In England, the big story was that Reform’s share of the vote increased by 13 points, inflicting enormous losses on the Tories in hundreds of seats.

Here’s just one statistic to consider.

Support for the Reform UK party was greater than the margin of defeat for the Tories in nearly 180 seats.

So, why did this happen?

Because, as I’ve written in these pages before, the Conservative Party no longer really knows what it is anymore.

It is completely lost.

Completely lost

It does not seem to know who has been voting for it since the Brexit referendum, or why.

The Tories are critically ill, gripped by a full-blown identity crisis — no longer sure who they are, what they believe, or what they are meant to say.

Steadily but surely, ever since 2019, the Tories have angered and alienated its core voters by doing the very opposite of what they said they would do.

They failed to control our borders, cut taxes, tackle wokeism or level up left-behind regions.

That is why so many voters either jumped ship to Farage, who after eight attempts now has a seat in the House of Commons, or simply stayed at home, refusing to vote at all.

And if you look at what these Tory-to-Reform switchers want it is crystal clear, because I have asked them in my polls.

They want to stop the small boat invasion, which is making a mockery of our claim to be a sovereign nation.

And they want to dramatically lower legal mass immigration.

These are perfectly reasonable requests, and they are ones the Tories will now have to engage with if they are to stand a chance at rebuilding their coalition and surviving as a viable party.

And make no mistake — this really is a battle for political survival.

Battle for political survival

Because with Farage and Reform ensconced in Westminster, with millions of voters looking for something different, the few Tories who remain in parliament are going to have to get their act together — and fast.

This means coming up with a credible, compelling, and clear response to voters’ sincerely held concerns over mass immigration and the borders.

It means coming up with a far more resonant and appealing brand of Conservatism that is more in tune with ordinary working people.

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And, most of all, it means treating their voters with the respect and recognition they deserve.

Because if the Tories do not do these things, then they will soon find themselves not just on life support but heading to the morgue.