Sunak is predicting a ‘tough night’ for Tories as he faces the test of local elections

Rishi Sunak has said the Conservatives are moving away from “drama box set” politics – but warned they had a “tough night” in the local elections, it has been reported.

Voters will go to the polls across England on Thursday as Mr Sunak faces his first major electoral test since becoming Prime Minister just over six months ago.

The local elections are also likely to be the last series of polls before the next general election, and the results are expected to indicate whether Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer could be on course for No. 10.

The Daily Telegraph reported that Mr Sunak told a think-tank event on Wednesday evening that his administration was working to improve the economy and move away from the “box-set drama” of what preceded his premiership, in what which appeared as a reference to Boris’s predecessors. Johnson and Liz Truss.

Mr Sunak was appointed Prime Minister in October after Ms Truss’s fiscal measures shocked the markets and caused her to collapse.

She was in Downing Street for just 44 days, after taking over from Mr Johnson, who was sacked following the party gate scandal and complaints about his handling of allegations of assault against a former deputy prime minister Chris Pincher.

The Prime Minister, speaking on the eve of the opening of the polls, said: “We should be prepared that tomorrow night will be hard for us.

“Good councilors will lose their seats because of everything that has happened in the last year.”

He added: “I have only been Prime Minister for six months but I believe we are making good progress. Think about where we were then and where we are now.

“Our economy is in much better shape. Our politics no longer feel like box plays. And our friends and allies know we’re back.”

The Tories have set low expectations for the local elections, with party chairman Greg Hands defending his claim that the ruling party in Westminster could lose 1,000 council seats.

There are more than 8,000 council seats in England available across 230 local authorities, from small rural areas to some of the largest towns and cities.

Referendums are also being held to elect mayors in Bedford, Leicester, Mansfield and Middlesbrough.

Former prime ministers Liz Truss and Boris Johnson left Number 10 last year (Aaron Chown/PA)

Elections are not being held in all parts of England this year. There are no competitions in London and Birmingham, along with other areas including Cornwall, North Yorkshire and Cumbria.

This is the first time that new voter ID rules have been applied to the whole of England before the change comes into effect for the UK general elections from October.

The policy means that it will be mandatory for those who show up to polling stations to present a photo ID to prove their identity before being given a voting slip.

Critics of the move, which was initiated by Conservative ministers, argue that it could discourage young people and ethnic minorities from voting.

Wakefield by-election

For the first time it will be mandatory for voters at polling stations on Thursday to show ID (Frank Augstein/PA)

The Tories are lagging behind Sir Keir Starmer’s Labor in the polls ahead of the local elections.

Labor is riding high, according to an online Opinium survey conducted between April 26 and 28, which showed that the red team could get 44% of the vote share, compared to the Tories’ 26% – 18 points ahead.

The poll tracker kept by the political website Politico said that, on Tuesday, Labor had a slightly narrower lead of 16 points but one that was still well into double-digit territory.

The vote share polling experts insist is the result that should be the main focus for those looking for a clue as to who might win the next general election, which is widely expected which will be held next year.

Professor Sir John Curtice, a political academic, said that Labor could get more than 10% of the projected share of the national vote – a means of applying the result of the local election on a national basis, as if there was a chance by everyone voting – to be a sign of that. Sir Keir is on his way to Downing Street.

Sir Tony Blair had a double-digit victory in the local election vote share in the run-up to New Labour’s landslide in 1997, as did David Cameron’s Tories before he led the coalition in 2010.

Local elections, 2023

Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer campaigned in Kent on the eve of the polls (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Sir Keir, speaking to broadcasters on the eve of the opening of the polls, said his party had a “positive case to tell” and hoped to make “progress” in the elections.

In a separate statement, the Opposition leader said voters could “put Britain on a path of growth, security and the promise of a better future”.

He added: “If you believe it’s time to build a better Britain you can do something simple – grab your ID, go down to your polling station and vote Labor today.”

The picture of the results is complicated because the Tories did well in May 2019 when the same row of council seats was up for election last time.

Both Labor and the Conservatives, claiming 28% of the national vote at the time, fared poorly, with then Tory leader Theresa May — who was struggling to get her Brexit deal through Parliament — more than 1,300 council seats and majority political control were lost. 44 advice.

It means the Tories go into Thursday’s poll from a low baseline.

Strathclyde University academic Sir John told GB News: “Given how poor the bottom line is, we shouldn’t expect large-scale Conservative losses, even if the party is still below par 30%.

The Lib Dems did well as voters turned away from the Tories and Labor in 2019, meaning that even a strong showing for the party, which is currently polling around the 11% mark, could failure of the bumper top of seats to produce additional advice. .

The party is hoping to make gains in liberal areas in the south of England which it has dubbed the “blue wall”.

The Deputy Leader of the Defense Forces Democrats, Daisy Cooper, said: “Senior Conservative MPs will be in for a shock tomorrow. The Liberal Democrats are about to create a major political upheaval now.”

The polling stations are to be open between 7am and 10pm.

Around a quarter of the votes are expected to be counted overnight, with the rest counted during the day on Friday.

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