A statement on the by-election results

16th February 2024

The results in yesterday’s by-elections are unequivocal: Labour are winning because many of the people who backed us in 2019 are staying at home or voting Reform. Voters are not flocking to Labour. They want a genuine alternative to the consensus politics of the last two decades – high taxes, low security, managed decline.

The Government has made some positive steps to win back our lost voters. They have scrapped the worst Net Zero commitments and issued new gas and oil licences to strengthen our domestic energy security. They are reducing the number of visas awarded to migrant workers and their families. They have introduced a tough new Bill to restore sovereignty over our borders and ensure illegal immigrants are swiftly removed – though we think that Bill needs to be tightened further. And they have indicated that significant tax cuts can be expected in March.

But all of this is plainly not enough. In 2019 the British people voted for change, and they haven’t seen it yet. We have many good excuses – the disruptions and distractions of Brexit, Covid and the Ukraine war – but so far, we have not delivered on the promises we made at the last election.

There is still time – but our Party must change course. We are calling on the Government to adapt to the reality that the by-elections reveal. Our target voters want a different and a better offer.

The Government should:

  1. Declare its willingness to withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights and repeal the Human Rights Act if courts in Strasbourg or Britain invoke European rights laws to stop the removal of illegal migrants.
  2. Introduce further cuts to legal migration including a cap on work visas, and incentivise employers to train British workers for these jobs.
  3. Reform welfare to support more of the 9 million working-age adults who are currently not working into employment; and reinvest the welfare savings in the prison estate and national defence.
  4. Cut taxes that hit working families including lowering the rate of income tax and raising punitive thresholds.

Miriam Cates MP
Danny Kruger MP

Co-Chairs, The New Conservatives