Speaking on Channel 4’s Andrew Neil Show, Osborne painted a rather bleak picture of life in the Conservative Party in the wake of Quasi Quarteng – and Liz Truss – disastrous mini-budget and their subsequent U-turn over cutting off 45p tax relief.
“It’s kind of like, you know, the political experiment blew up the chemistry lab,” he laughed. “Everybody’s kind of standing there with the wreckage, you know, the political situation for the Conservatives.”
He said this was “much worse” than it was a few months ago when it comes to the Tories’ position in the polls. the probability of a Labor victory – and “the likelihood of a Tory wipeout in a general election”.
A YouGov poll from late September showed that Labor had a huge 33 point lead for the government.
The Tories also appear more fragmented than ever after a chaotic annual conference in Birmingham, where even cabinet ministers were outspoken. disagree with no.10.
As Osborne noted: “Those things weren’t really on the cards the day Liz Truss became Prime Minister.
“I think a Tory wipeout is potentially on the cards, but we’ve got two years to go so it still doesn’t feel like it, for a variety of reasons – including Labor not quite sealing the deal in the way that Tony Blair and Gordon Brown did in the 90s.
“But it’s definitely a possibility.”
Having served as Tory MP for Tatton for 16 years, this grim prediction for his own former party is quite remarkable.
Just over a month into his new job as prime minister, Truss is already more unpopular than her predecessor Boris Johnson ever was.
As of Wednesday, Truss’s net approval rating had fallen to -59 – just 14% of those polled said they had a favorable impression of her.
By comparison, Johnson’s lowest score was -53, which he received in July.
Truss is expected to turn on the charm this week as parliament returns from recess in a bid to reunite her party.