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The Guardian view on the Conservatives: countdown to oblivion | Editorial

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There is an end of an era feel about Tory fatalism towards Rishi Sunak and his government

“So begins the countdown to oblivion,” the Labour MP and diarist Chris Mullin wrote on New Year’s Day 2010, as he contemplated the coming general election, which Labour duly lost. Today, by contrast, Britain is still two years away from its next election. Such is the fatalism among the current crop of Conservative MPs, however, that there is already an end of era mood and feel in the ruling party.

Take the case of Chloe Smith, who holds Norwich North by a majority of 4,738. Ms Smith is only 40, and was in the cabinet until last month. Her decision to step down from politics this week is a move that others will also follow. Her colleague Will Wragg (34, Hazel Grove, majority 4,423) is already doing so. Matt Hancock may be next out of here. Lobbying firms report an increase in discreet job inquiries from inside Westminster, while Conservative headquarters has asked its MPs to clarify their plans. This latest countdown to oblivion has started early.

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