The Independent view

Rishi Sunak is posing as the candidate of ‘change’ – but will he convince the electorate?

Editorial: ‘Time for Change – vote Conservative’ isn’t exactly an intuitive slogan when, after more than a decade in power, much of the country sees the Tories as responsible for its current ills

Thursday 05 October 2023 13:19 BST
5 October 2023
5 October 2023 (Dave Brown)

The first word that comes to mind at the mention of Rishi Sunak might be “competent”, “smart” or even just “rich”, as a widely circulated “word cloud” from a pollster suggested this week.

It wouldn’t, by contrast, probably be “brave”. Yet the prime minister has certainly shown some unexpected audacity in making what he calls “long-term decisions” about the future of the nation, and of his party. He deserves some respect for his courage; but, inevitably at this point in the life of the Conservative-led administration that came to power in 2010, and the current hostile mood of the public, there must be some scepticism about the short-term electoral dividend.

No one who comes to Manchester ready to announce the cancellation of the most important public infrastructure project in the city for decades, if not centuries, can be counted as a coward. Perhaps, in truth, his hand was forced by the exclusive story in The Independent that the HS2 link to Manchester was in jeopardy; but, still, not many politicians would choose to put such an unwelcome piece of news at the centre of his speech.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in