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Country Reports

Facing difficult dilemmas

by Matthias Barner, Sebastian Schnorrenberg

Rishi Sunak and the Tories ahead of the 2024 elections

In the polls, the opposition Labour Party is far ahead of the ruling Conservatives. With the appointment of David Cameron as Foreign Secretary, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who is under immense pressure, has certainly pulled off a coup. This risky move hints at the outlines of the strategy the British Conservatives will take into the 2024 election year.

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The next general election in the UK must be held in January 2025 at the latest. With no more than a year until the election, Rishi Sunak and the British Conservatives need a strategy to have a shot at turning the tide. Rishi Sunak has used the recent cabinet reshuffle to fill key positions in the wider government with trusted figures. With Lord Cameron in the Foreign Office, James Cleverly in the Home Office and the equally experienced Jeremy Hunt as Chancellor of the Exchequer, Prime Minister Sunak now has a reliable team around him for the upcoming election campaign. In January of this year, he announced his "five priorities" - five political goals against which he wants to measure his personal performance as well as that of the government as a whole. In addition, the Tories are on the lookout for one or two further topics to be used as so-called "wedge issues", aimed at setting a clear contrast to Labour or the Liberal Democrats. It is likely that energy, climate and internal security could play a key role here. Rishi Sunak has now positioned his government and the party as he sees fit in terms of personnel and policy. He is therefore shouldering full responsibility for the outcome of next year's elections. Regardless of the results of the upcoming election, what will be decisive for the Conservative Party in the long term is whether it manages to regain that legendary adaptability, which has made it one of the most successful political parties in the Western world.

 

The full-length publication is only available in German.

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Matthias Barner

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Director United Kingdom and Ireland

matthias.barner@kas.de +44 20 783441-19

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The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung is a political foundation. Our offices abroad are in charge of over 200 projects in more than 120 countries. The country reports offer current analyses, exclusive evaluations, background information and forecasts - provided by our international staff.