Sir Charles Walker MP. (Photo: ISABEL INFANTES via Getty Images)
A veteran Tory MP today said the next general election will be a question of “how much do we lose it by?”
Sir Charles Walker gave a withering assessment of his party’s prospects amid the recent economic turmoil.
It comes after the Labour Party surged to an astonishing 33-point lead over the Tories in a new poll.
The YouGov survey, carried out on Wednesday and Thursday, put Labour on 54 per cent (+9) compared to the Conservatives’ 21 per cent (-7).
Walker told Matt Chorley on Times Radio: “It’s hard to construct an argument now that the Conservatives can win that general election, I suspect the conversation is, you know, how much do we lose it by?”
This is now a serious crisis with a lot at stake. A time for cool heads & calm leadership.
The economic package of borrowing & tax cuts announced last week clearly can’t command market or voter confidence.
The Cabinet must meet fast to agree with PM & CX a PlanB which can hold. pic.twitter.com/G90tnIq0il
— George Freeman MP (@GeorgeFreemanMP) September 29, 2022
Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng met with the head of the Office of Budget Responsibility in a bid to reassure markets on Friday.
On Wednesday, the Bank of England announced an emergency intervention in response to a “run dynamic” on the pensions system which could have resulted in the collapse of a swathe of institutions within hours.
The mini-budget has sparked criticism from other Tory MPs, with one describing it as “inept madness”. Privately many others are fuming and even discussing how or whether they can oust Truss as prime minister.
Walker described the latest polls as “pretty shattering” and a “cliff edge collapse”, adding: “It’s really very, very bad, isn’t it? I mean, there’s no way of dressing this up as anything else but being pretty shattering.
“It is such such a reverse in our fortunes. I mean, we’ve been behind in the polls for the best part of I think 12 to 18 months, but this is a sort of cliff edge collapse.
“And it happens when you don’t explain to the public and prepare the ground for a big financial statement. So people don’t understand what’s going on.
“They don’t understand the reasoning. They haven’t seen the workings behind the mathematics. And that’s why people have taken fright.”
Walker described himself as “very sad” and said the situation was “very painful”.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.