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Tories only winning among certain age group, polls show

Rishi Sunak’s party is trailing Sir Keir Starmer’s Labour with voters in every age group except the over-65s, polls show

Archie Mitchell
Friday 05 January 2024 08:08 GMT
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Labour to provide 'a politics which treads lighter on our lives', Starmer says

The Tories are only supported by over-65-year-olds ahead of a looming general election, a tracker of polls reveals.

Rishi Sunak’s party is trailing Sir Keir Starmer’s Labour with voters in every age group except the over-65s, according to The Economist.

The party enjoys the support of 40 per cent of people in the oldest age bracket, compared with just 18 per cent of those aged between 18 and 34. At the last election, two thirds of over-65s voted for the Conservatives.

Meanwhile Labour is backed by more than half of 18 to 34-year-olds, and leads in the polls with everybody 64 and under.

Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer will face off at a general election this year (PA Wire)

After Mr Sunak announced plans to hold an election in the second half of 2024, the tracker shows his party trailing Labour by 19 points - the largest gap a year out from polling day since Sir Tony Blair’s 1997 landslide.

And, in a boost to Sir Keir after Jeremy Corbyn’s historic election defeat, Labour leads the Conservatives in every region, with the strongest support in its heartlands in the North and Midlands.

Britain is set for a gruelling election campaign in 2024 after the PM ruled out a spring vote and revealed he wanted to go to the polls much later in the year.

Mr Sunak told reporters it was his “working assumption” that he would call the election in the second half of the year.

And Sir Keir vowed to fight “fire with fire” as he predicted that the Tories would embark on nasty and personal attacks in a battle now expected to last until at least October.

The timing of the election was revealed after the Labour leader made a major speech setting out his stall to voters.

He promised to deliver “project hope” and called for Mr Sunak to “bring it on”.

Labour and the Liberal Democrats – who have called for a spring election – accused the PM of “bottling” it. Sir Keir claimed that the PM was trying to “squat” at No 10 for as long as possible.

Conservative polling guru Robert Hayward told The Independent on Thursday that most “serious” Tory MPs favour an autumn election – though some are worried the local elections in May will only add to the “doom and gloom”.

The Tory peer believes, on balance, that Mr Sunak was “wise” to wait in the hope of an economic revival. And he said the PM was smart to rule out a spring election today to stop Labour “going on and on about the ‘running away’ narrative”.

Lord Hayward added: “It’s not risk-free, because the local elections will be bad. But the polls are still so awful. And it’s just possible that voters will become more inclined to consider his competence if inflation and interest rates continue to fall.”

On Friday shadow paymaster general Jonathan Ashworth warned the Conservatives would “run a very dirty negative campaign”, promising Labour would focus on the economy and the NHS.

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