Rishi Sunak insists he is ‘absolutely confident’ ahead of 2024 general election

The prime minister told ITV’s This Morning that he was ready for the contest and said Britain has ‘turned a corner’

Archie Mitchell
Tuesday 30 January 2024 13:04 GMT
Sunak laughs when asked if he is going to win general election

Rishi Sunak has insisted he is “absolutely confident” ahead of the 2024 general election, despite being 20 points behind Sir Keir Starmer in the polls.

The prime minister told ITV’s This Morning that he was ready for the contest and said Britain has “turned a corner”.

Mr Sunak’s assertion comes amid warnings from major pollsters that he faces a 1997-style election wipeout, and despite several relaunches of his leadership failing to make a dent in Labour’s poll lead.

Rishi Sunak laughed when asked if he is going to win this year’s general election (ITV)

“We have clearly been through a tough time over the last year as a country,” Mr Sunak said.

He added: “We are still dealing with the legacy of Covid, backlogs in the NHS, the war in Ukraine driving energy bills, but I really believe that at the start of this year we have turned a corner and are heading in the right direction.”

Asked by presenters Rylan Clark and Rochelle Humes if he is “confident” about the general election, Mr Sunak said: “I am, absolutely.”

He said “the plan we have put in place is working”, pointing to the reduction in inflation as evidence.

And he added: “By tomorrow, everyone will have had a tax cut by the way because of our management of the economy. If you are earning £35,000 you are going to get a tax cut worth £450.

“That is what we are starting to deliver, if we stick with this plan I will be able to give everyone that peace of mind that there is a brighter future for them and their children.”

But despite optimism about this year’s contest, Mr Sunak played down the prospect of a longer stint in Downing Street.

“With the best will in the world, I am probably not going to be here in 13 or 14 years,” Mr Sunak said.

His comments came weeks after a major YouGov survey predicted the Tories are on track for a 1997-style general election wipeout.

According to the poll, the Tories could retain as few as 169 seats, while Labour would sweep into power with 385 – giving Sir Keir Starmer a massive 120-seat majority.

Alarmingly for the Tories, it said chancellor Jeremy Hunt could be one of 11 cabinet ministers to lose their seats, in what would be the biggest collapse in support for a governing party since 1906.

Other ministers under threat include education secretary Gillian Keegan and defence secretary Grant Shapps.

As well as trailing Labour in the polls, the Tories are facing an assault on the right from Nigel Farage’s Reform UK.

The party, formerly called the Brexit Party, risks splitting the vote in tens of Tory seats, opening the door to Labour and adding to the scale of Mr Sunak’s losses.

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