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Adam Boulton: Is the Role of Quitters in Politics Impossible or a Matter of Wrong Timing?

Credits: Sky News

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, aged 45, recently resigned, stating that he no longer feels he’s the best person for the job. He joins a growing trend of leaders stepping down unexpectedly, even when they seem to be at the height of their careers.

Last year, New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern, at 43, decided she had nothing left to give. Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister, stepped down at 53 to focus on herself.

Adam Boulton (Credits:

This trend isn’t limited to top politicians. Over 100 Members of Parliament have resigned from the UK Commons, indicating a possible “change election” on the horizon.

What’s concerning is the youth of many of these departing politicians. It suggests that politics might not be as appealing as it once was, especially with the pressures of social media and job demands. Some say these politicians are quitters, not fighters.

Leo Varadkar (Credits: Sky News)

Some departing MPs are pretty young, like Nicola Richards and Mhairi Black, both 29, William Wragg at 36, and Deheena Davison, aged 30. Many have only served under one government, with the majority elected since 2010, and some as recently as 2017 or 2019.

The fear of losing their positions likely influences their decisions. Interestingly, two-thirds of those not seeking re-election are Conservatives.

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