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Why Even U.K. Chancellor Jeremy Hunt Fears He Could Lose This Election

With picture-postcard villages, country pubs and an unmistakable air of affluence, there are few greater strongholds for Britain’s Conservative Party than Surrey, where voters have chosen Jeremy Hunt, the current chancellor of the Exchequer, as a lawmaker in five consecutive elections.

But even he admits that he may be out of Parliament after July 4.

“I’m very well known locally, I’m knocking on doors, I’m talking to people and I’ve got a certain following from my 19 years as a member of Parliament,” Mr. Hunt told The New York Times last week as he prepared to appeal for votes in Chiddingfold, 50 miles southwest of London. “But this is definitely the toughest it’s ever been.”

The fact that the second most powerful man in the government now sees himself as the underdog is testament to the scale of the threat facing the Conservatives at next month’s general election.

Several opinion polls predict a landslide victory for the opposition Labour Party that would sweep many longstanding Conservative lawmakers from Parliament. Although Mr. Hunt, who was raised in the area and still lives there, may yet beat the odds, analysts say he is vulnerable.

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Last modified: 16 June 2024
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