Has Rishi Sunak Finally Decided When To Have The General Election?

The prime minister is rumoured to be eyeing up a summer poll.
A polling station in a church.
A polling station in a church.
Ian Forsyth via Getty Images

Rishi Sunak could call an election earlier than planned in an attempt to stop plotting Tory MPs ousting him in the wake of the local elections.

The Conservatives are on course for a catastrophic result on May 2, with polling experts predicting they will lose up to 500 seats.

Fears are growing inside Downing Street that that could lead to a flood of Tory MPs sending in letters of no confidence to Sir Graham Brady, chair of the backbench 1922 Committee.

If the threshold of 53 is reached, that would trigger a vote which could potentially see Sunak ousted from No.10.

HuffPost UK has been told that “chatter” is growing that the PM could see off a leadership challenge by calling an election as early as June.

That would be despite Sunak previously saying his “working assumption” is that the election would take place in the second half of the year.

One Tory MP told HuffPost UK: “They probably don’t think they can hold it together until the autumn. I know at least one other senior minister intending to stand down after Easter.”

Another senior backbencher said: “I think a lot of this is No.10 hoping to discourage people from putting letters in - but the aftermath of May 2 will be crucial.”

Regardless of when the election is taking place, a Labour victory seems all-but inevitable.

Polling guru Professor John Curtice has said there is a “99% chance” that Keir Starmer will form the next government.

The Labour leader accused Sunak of wanting “one last, drawn out summer tour with his beloved helicopter”.

Launching his party’s local election campaign today, he said: “The dithering must stop, the date must be set. Britain wants change, and it’s time for change with Labour.”


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