There seems to be no doubt, across the media at any rate – and even the right-leaning world of the UK’s newspapers – that Theresa May has not had a good election campaign, but now one Tory candidate has said, in no uncertain times, that they are “fucked off” with their leader.
After calling the snap election in order to take advantage of sky-high polling ratings and the promise of a certain landslide against a hopeless opposition, a lot of subsequent events have not gone to plan.
The robotic ‘strong and stable’ schtick was called out early – and appears now to have been dropped - the stage-managed public performances where she didn’t actually meet any of the public were mocked, and her no-show on the BBC debate last night looked extremely bad. However, the one issue which really appears to have dented her brand is the U-turn over the so-called ‘dementia tax’ – a label that was successfully pinned on the policy by rival parties and which has seemingly shaken support for her and her party as it appeared to attack a core element of her supporters.
The situation is so bad that a recent poll projection from YouGov suggested that there could even be a hung parliament.
There have been rumours of dissent within the Conservative party for some days, but now one MP, who was originally elected in 2015, has broken ranks to speak to Huffington Post, saying:
“It’s a completely different experience to what it was four weeks ago. It’s made my job a hell of a lot harder. It’s a completely different experience. I’m pretty fucked off.
“People on the doorstep are telling me: ‘She’s going after pensioners, she doesn’t know what she’s doing, she doesn’t answer questions on the TV.’ I’ve switched from saying ‘vote for her’ to ‘vote for me’. It’s hard to understand how people in London who get paid a lot of money made such a clusterfuck.
“People voted for her because of what they thought she was like rather than what she is like. It’s totally shattered the confidence of the parliamentary party.
“Colleagues up and down the country are just fucked off.
“She said she wasn’t going to call a general election, and they’ve totally fucked it up.
“If you were going to write what not to do in a campaign then running it on strong and stable leadership and changing your mind on everything would be it. It’s like something out of Yes Minister.
“People are now beginning to vote for Jeremy Corbyn. I find that hard to understand.”
Another candidate, also originally elected in 2015 added:
“If Jeremy Corbyn wasn’t leader of the Labour party we would lose this election – and we would deserve to.
“Theresa May might get a big majority but she has definitely lost power in the party.”
However, not everyone thinks it’s a total disaster. Tory candidate Andrew Bridgen said:
“The white working-class who voted to leave the EU are voting Conservative.
“The manifesto was not good, but it was a manifesto for Government, not a wish list for opposition.”
A fourth candidate, this time one who has been an MP for more than a decade, said:
“There’s been some moaning about social care, it was poorly explained and the manifesto launch was a big missed opportunity.
“That said, I’ve had the best response in all the general elections I’ve run here, but I know and have helped thousands of folk. Theresa is neutral now, people have made their minds up.
“Under-30s love Corbyn but they don’t care enough to get off their lazy arses to vote for him!”