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The death of the UK Conservative Party

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They added that “people are already considering alternatives to the Conservative Party,” whether that might be defecting to Reform or even finding a role for Farage inside a reshaped populist Tory party post-election. 

Another influential Conservative voice, Tim Montgomerie, founder of the ConservativeHome website and a former speechwriter to two Tory leaders, said a common view among his friends was that “we no longer trust the Conservative Party.”

He said this was down to a succession of “Napoleonic” leaders “focused on presentation”, prompting Conservatives like him to conclude their efforts are better focused on alternative forms of influence, such as shaping the news agenda and developing policy ideas. 

Not so fast 

Publicly, of course, leading Conservatives remain bullish about their prospects. 

Andrew Bowie, an energy minister and Tory candidate, told POLITICO he was “absolutely not” worried about a Reform incursion, observing that Farage had “run, and lost, in a number of general elections gone by.”

A former Cabinet minister on the right of the party conceded it was a “tough time” to be Tory, but insisted “it’s not an existential threat — we are a very resilient party.”

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