Rishi Sunak Says He's 'Confident' The Tories Can Win The Election Days After Saying The Opposite

The PM made the outlandish claim despite the mountain of evidence to the contrary.
Rishi Sunak prior to making a speech on national security at the Policy Exchange.
Rishi Sunak prior to making a speech on national security at the Policy Exchange.
Carl Court via Getty Images

Rishi Sunak has insisted he is “confident” the Tories can still win the general election - just days after saying the opposite.

The prime minister said he was sure that voters would end up sticking with his party when they realise what is at stake.

But last week, he said Labour will end up being “the largest party” after voters have been to the polls.

Sunak also ruled out holding the election in January next year - the latest point it can be - but once again refused to name the date.

In a wide-ranging speech at the Policy Exchange think-tank, the PM said: “At some point in the second half of this year, we will all go to the polls and make a choice - not just about Conservatives versus Labour, or Sunak versus Starmer, it will be a choice between the future and the past.

“I remain confident that my party can prevail, not because of our record alone, but because we will be the only party really talking about the future.

“And not with vague platitudes, but with bold ideas and a clear plan that can change our society for the better and restore people’s pride and confidence in our country.”

Sunak’s comments come despite an opinion poll last week giving Labour a 30-point lead over the Tories, and with experts predicting his party is heading for “a pasting”.

Effectively firing the starting gun on the election campaign, the PM said the UK was at “a crossroads” and that the world will change more in the next five years than it has in the last 30.

He said that, unlike Labour, Tories had a plan to keep the country safe, including boosting defence spending to 2.5% of gross domestic product by the end of the year.

Asked by the BBC’s Chris Mason afterwards whether he believed the country would be less safe with Keir Starmer as prime minister, Sunak said: “In a word, yes.”

But Jonathan Ashworth, the shadow paymaster general, said: “After 14 years of leaving the country less secure at home and abroad, the Tories have forfeited the right to talk about security.

“Millions of people are paying more on their mortgages, crime is going unsolved, dangerous prisoners are being let out early, the armed forces have been hollowed out and the NHS is on its knees. That is this government’s record.”

Lib Dem leader Ed Davey called on Sunak to name the date of the election.

He said: “Families are sick of the Conservatives failing our NHS, allowing water companies to pump their sewage into our rivers and refusing to help families through the cost of living crisis.

“This Conservative government is out of touch and out of time and Rishi Sunak must do the right thing and give the people a general election.”


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