This Is When The UK's Leading Polling Expert Thinks The General Election Will Be

Professor John Curtice explains when Rishi Sunak could fire the "starting gun" on the campaign.
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Rishi Sunak is likely to call the general election for November 14 of this year, according to one of the country’s leading polling experts.

The prime minister yesterday revealed his plan to go to the country in the “second half” of 2024.

Professor John Curtice said he expected Sunak to fire the “starting gun” on the election during his speech to the Tory conference in October.

“Now, there is beginning to be a consensus it might be November 14,” he told BBC Radio 4′s Today programme of when polling day could be.

“All the parties have decided to hold their party conferences rather early next autumn.

“The prime minister will end the Conservative conference on October 2. That might be the starting gun.”

Sunak’s decision to announce when he wanted to hold the election came amid growing speculation in Westminster could call it for May.

Despite the announcement, he does still have the option of delaying it until as late as January 2025 or changing his mind and going in the spring.

Labour holds a commanding poll lead and Keir Starmer has accused Sunak of “squatting” in Downing Street, afraid of the voters.

“People are crying out for change. And I say to the prime minister, what’s he hiding? If he’s not going to set a date, what’s he hiding from the public?” he told Sky News.

“This has serious implications for the country because he’s basically saying he’s going to be squatting for months and months in Downing Street, dithering and delaying.

“So if he’s not being clear, and I don’t think he’s setting a date, what’s he hiding?”

Lib Dem leader Ed Davey also accused Sunak of having “bottled it” and of “running scared”.

“Squatter Sunak is holed up in Downing Street, desperately clinging on to power rather than facing the verdict of the British people,” he said.

“We need an election in Spring, so that voters can finally get rid of this appalling and out-of-touch Conservative government.”

A recent survey showed nearly three-quarters of people - 73% - wanted the election by May of this year.

The research, by the More in Common think tank, found only 15% believed Sunak should wait until autumn.


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