Tory party to see 'generational change' at next election says expert

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Opinion polls have shown the Conservatives face an uphill battle at the next general election, which will take place in January 2025 at the latest. Times Radio chief political correspondent Lucy Fisher has warned of a “generational change” as up to 80 MPs could step down. She said: “I’ve spoken to quite a surprising number who are privately adamant that they’re going to lose their own seat and think the Tory party as a whole is heading for a spell of Opposition at the next selection.

“That’s the really clear context that is influencing people who are thinking, ‘should I give up my seat and look for a new job outside of Parliament?’

“Those people who definitely know they’re leaving and have made up their minds will tell the party.

“But many other people are mulling it over will tell CCHQ that they’re staying for now and then they’ll make a final decision six months before the next election.

“I think the final total will be much higher than the total we get around next month.

“Some MPs have told me they reckon it’ll be as high as 80 MPs stepping down.

“If that were the case it would represent a real generational change.”

Senior Conservative William Wragg has announced he will not run again as an MP at the next election.

Mr Wragg, who chairs the Public Administration and Constitutions Affairs select committee, has held the Greater Manchester constituency of Hazel Grove since 2015.

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The Brexiteer took the seat from the Liberal Democrats and became first Tory MP there since 1997.

In a tweet announcing his intention to step back after this Parliament ends, he said: “It is a privilege to be the Member of Parliament for Hazel Grove.

“I have made the decision not to stand at the next election.

“I shall continue to represent constituents to the best of my ability in the meantime and thank everyone for their wonderful support over the years.”

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Mr Wragg’s announcement came on the same day his Tory colleague, former work and pensions secretary Chloe Smith, also said she was standing down at the next election.

Mr Wragg, who is vice chairman of the influential 1922 Committee of Tory backbenchers, appears to have been unhappy with his party’s leaders in recent years.

He was a fierce critic of Boris Johnson, submitting a letter of no-confidence and describing the then-prime minister’s position as “untenable” in January.

He also publicly demanded that Liz Truss quit in October, after her mini-budget sparked financial turmoil and plummeting polling for the Conservatives.

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