Politics

Old Bexley and Sidcup by-election polls: Why Boris Johnson faces election shock

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Voters in Old Bexley and Sidcup are poised to not pledge their vote to the Conservatives, during tomorrow’s by-election. Although very few are reported to be switching their vote to Labour. The seat has been held by the Tories since it was formed in the 1980s and is regarded as a stronghold for the party.

Tomorrow, a by-election will be taking place in the constituency of Old Bexley and Sidcup, which is part of Welling, south east London.

The by-election is taking place following the death of its former MP, James Brokenshire, in October.

Old Bexley and Sidcup will be the area that holds the first by-election after the emergence of the Tory ‘sleaze’ scandal.

Since being formed as a constituency in 1983 it has always been held by the Conservatives.

In fact, at one point it was the political home of ex-Tory prime minister, Sir Edward Heath.

However, following the sleaze scandal that has engulfed the Government and led to a slump in Boris Johnson’s approval rating, there is speculation as to whether the Tories will retain as dominant a hold on the seat as they have previously held.

YouGov’s most recent approval rating for the Prime Minister (November 22) showed that it had dropped from 32 to 29 percent when compared with the month previously.

In recent days, reports have emerged that many of those who would ordinarily vote Conservative will not be doing so on this occasion.

Although it’s felt that most who make this decision will not be switching their vote to Labour and will instead abstain from the by-election altogether.

Nonetheless, the Conservative’s candidate, Louie French, is still expected to win the seat and succeed Mr Brokenshire as the constituency’s MP.

Mr French has been a Tory councillor for the past eight years and previously served as Deputy Leader for Bexley council, between 2018 and 2021.

In 2019, Mr Brokenshire won 64.5 percent of the vote for the Old Bexley and Sidcup seat.

He had first won the seat during the 2010 General Election.

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The by-election in Old Bexley and Sidcup is the first of four that are primed to be held over the coming months.

These will be staged for the Southend West, North Shropshire and Leicester East constituencies.

However, the by-election in Southend West is guaranteed to be won by the Tories as all other parties have announced they will not be standing a candidate.

This is because of the tragic circumstances surrounding the area’s former MP, Sir David Amess’ death in October, which led to the seat becoming vacant.

What is the Tory ‘sleaze’ scandal about?

Over the past month the Government has faced mounting pressure for its handling of the Tory sleaze scandal.

At the beginning of November the Government was subjected to backlash after attempting to save ex-Tory MP, Owen Paterson, for breaching lobbying rules.

Accusations of corruption have since been levelled at the PM for what’s been perceived as an effort to overhaul parliamentary standards.

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