The prime minister may be out of the UK for eight days as he embarks on a diplomatic tour taking in a triumvirate of summits – CHOGM, the G7 and NATO – but he cannot escape the enormity of what’s happening back home in his first ballot box test since this month’s confidence vote in his leadership.
These by-elections are particularly instructive because they cut across two electoral battlegrounds for Boris Johnson.
Wakefield is in his bank of Red Wall seats taken from Labour in 2019.
Tiverton and Honiton is in true blue Devon, the rural Blue Wall of the South West, where the Lib Dems are hoping to take what should be an ultra-safe seat from the Tories.
In Wakefield, Labour are quietly confident of winning back this West Yorkshire seat lost to the Tories in 2019, while in Tiverton, Lib Dems are hopeful that they can “climb a mountain” to win – providing they can turn out their vote.