The Prime Minister has only been in post a matter of weeks but already many both inside and outside her Party are asking the question. Will she survive.
Her honeymoon period has not quite materialised. The disaster of the mini budget, the U-turns and chaos that surrounded their Party conference has not gone unnoticed. Her closing speech to conference was not a disaster so it calmed a few delegates nerves as they left Birmingham. Being amongst the very small party faithful (at all political conferences) always lifts the spirit.
But the fundamentals that crashed the £pound, are causing mortgage rates to hit 6% today, and still no sign of how any of this is to be paid for.
Her speech was thankfully short. It had to be. She said nothing of substance. No new ideas or policies but just a string of “growth’ slogans. She continually claims, like her Chancellor to ‘have a plan’. But just saying you have one does not make it real.
I will return to the central theme of this government. Everything hangs on their growth agenda. But this is a meaningless phrase without context. This excellent thread from Richard Murphy does a much better job than I could on explaining why it is flawed on various levels.
The fact that Truss was insisting there would be no U-Turn and then of course climbed down on her 45P tax rate leaves in the worst possible position. She was only supported by 50 of her MPs in the first round of voting for the leadership. She is not their real choice. She then left out the Sunak supporters from government so there are plenty of discontented backbenchers who feel no loyalty to her. Having watched her climb down/ U-Turn they will sense they can force similar changes when they are back in Parliament. Once backbenchers get the smell of power and rebellions it becomes embedded. There will be battles over fracking, over benefit rises and over the budget deficit. The fundamentals of her right wing ideology are not shared by the majority of her party. You might say Tory Backbenchers are part of her anti-growth coalition!
There are non stop battles and chaos ahead. The alternative scenarios are all difficult. Another leadership election would be unpalatable for the country and rightly we would demand a general election. Carry on and the polling could get worse. I don’t envy Tory backbenchers heading back to Westminster next week. It is going to ba torrid parliamentary session.