The general election in June brought an expectant Conservative Party crashing back to reality, as a working majority was ceded to Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats. The Tories have been in a state of shock that they are yet to recover from. Polls show that supporters are prepared to move on to see a Corbyn-led government, so when Ruth Davidson, in her address to the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, called on them to "man up" and get over their collective "nervous breakdown", the party leadership should take note.

Breakdown in authority

The reasons for the shock loss of the election have been covered to excess elsewhere. Commentators have relished reporting on the maneuvering of Boris Johnson to secure his elevation to the premiership. They have enjoyed reporting on the 'Moggmentum' campaign to see Jacob Rees-Mogg, the eccentric MP for Somerset North, claiming the keys to 10 Downing Street. This, and numerous other attempts by MPs to secure their long-term interests has formed the background to Theresa May's attempt to push on with the business of government, and guide Britain's withdrawal from the European Union. The problem is that, from the outside, this looks to be a government that could collapse at any moment, whilst the country is embarking on one of the most difficult constitutional changes in its history.

Rather than rallying around the Prime Minister, who is dependent on a successful EU negotiation to resurrect the way she will be remembered, her colleagues in the Cabinet and Parliament are doing their utmost to destroy not only the May premiership but the Conservative Party's chances of returning to the government for quite some time.

The last election proved that it is not enough to rely on an opponent's perceived failings and a pliant media. Instead, a rather positive message and a core of concrete beliefs, combined with an effective social media campaign, are essential to capturing the hearts and minds of the electorate. Jeremy Corbyn's success, which seems to have gone to the heads of the Labour faithful, has proved this.

Rallying around

Ms. Davidson, riding high on the success of the Tories in Scotland, ruled herself out as an immediate solution to the problem, and she was sensible to do so. No one is quite prepared to take on the poisoned chalice whilst little headway is made in the EU negotiations and ambitious backbenchers are flexing their muscles. Boris Johnson continues to profess loyalty to Mrs. May, whilst challenging her authority to win over the so-called "Hard Brexiteers., Rees-Mogg's accession is plagued by questions of his religion, which leads one to question whether the Conservatives have any intention of selecting a socially conservative leader. Others, such as Amber Rudd, have to be prepared to take on a Britain that is leaving the EU against their wishes.

It is a difficult situation as the government is reliant on the DUP, from which stem similar concerns as those which arise from a Rees-Mogg leadership, and courting even its own MPs, who have a chance to extract some concessions from the government. If the Tories had some kind of guiding principles, aside from obtaining power for its own sake and latching onto the Corbyn bandwagon for want of vote-winning ideas, they might find it easier to overcome their current problems. Whatever happens, it is imperative that Mrs. May regains the initiative, or she risks alienating the public, making things difficult for whoever succeeds her. Then we will see Jeremy Corbyn entering Downing Street with all that entails, and perhaps the death of the Conservative Party. Maybe that will not be such a bad thing.