Next “time out”: betting scandal among the Tories widens

Next “time out”: betting scandal among the Tories widens
Next “time out”: betting scandal among the Tories widens

As if he didn’t have enough problems already: British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak

The scandal surrounding the British Conservatives’ betting on the date of the general election continues to escalate. According to a report in the newspaper “Times on Sunday”, another member of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s election campaign team has become the target of an investigation by the Gambling Commission.

The Tories’ head of data strategy, Nick Mason, has taken a leave of absence, the party confirmed. However, he denies wrongdoing. It is one of several cases of this kind.

Before that, campaign manager Tony Lee had already taken a break after his wife’s bets on the election date allegedly became the subject of investigations. A parliamentary under-secretary and a bodyguard close to Sunak are also said to have bet on the election date.

There had been a lot of speculation about the date of the election in Great Britain. For a long time, a date in the autumn was considered likely. In May, however, Prime Minister Sunak surprisingly announced that a new parliament would be elected on July 4th.

The British Gambling Commission is now investigating betting fraud by insiders. This is a criminal offence in the UK and can be punished with up to two years in prison.

For the Conservative Party, which is lagging far behind the Labour opposition in the polls, the cases are worsening the already poor political situation. Labour leader Keir Starmer demanded clarification. Sunak must account for who exactly knew what.

Disastrous poll situation for Tories

Recent polls suggest an overwhelming Labour majority in the July 4 election.

According to the YouGov institute, the party can hope to win 425 of the 650 seats in the House of Commons in the election in two weeks, and a survey by two other institutes suggests that it can even expect to win 516 seats. In both cases, this would be a record for Labour.

The polls show the Tories getting 53 to 108 seats (they currently have 345 seats in parliament). The Liberal Democrats could increase their current 15 seats to more than 60. The polls show the “Reform UK” party of Brexit advocate Nigel Farage getting 15 percent, but currently only having five seats in parliament.

However, the survey results are only partially meaningful with regard to the distribution of seats: the institutes themselves point out that the distribution of votes in more than a hundred constituencies is currently so close that no reliable forecast is possible.

Great Britain has a first-past-the-post system in 650 constituencies. The candidate with the highest number of votes in each constituency wins.

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Source: Nachrichten

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