‘Labour has 99% chance of forming next govt’

The polling guru John Curtice says the chances of the Conservatives being able to turn around their chances were small…reports Asian Lite News

Labour has a 99 per cent chance of winning the next general election in a bruising blow to the Tories, John Curtice has said.

The polling guru said the chances of the Conservatives being able to turn around their chances were small, and added that “the Labour party will be in a much stronger position to negotiate a minority government than the Conservatives because, apart from possibly the DUP, the Conservatives have no friends in the House of Commons”.

The leading psephologist’s warning to Politico will pille yet more pressure on beleaguered Conservatives following the resignation of two cabinet ministers who are stepping down at the next election.

Robert Halfon unexpectedly quit as skills, apprenticeships and higher education minister, while James Heappey followed through on his stated intention to step down as armed forces minister ahead of exiting parliament at the general election.

His departure means 63 Conservative MPs have said publicly they are either standing down from parliament or not contesting their current seat at the general election.

The resignations follow a series of appalling opinion poll ratings for the Conservatives, most recently culminating in the Telegraph-Savanta poll tracker which put the Tories at their lowest rating since the aftermath of Liz Truss’ disastorous mini-budget which forced her from office, on 24 percent.

Labour are consistently holding a 20 point-lead, adding to the speculation that the party will storm to victory and form the next government.

As the House of Commons goes into recess, Rishi Sunak is gearing up for his biggest challenge yet as the local council elections loom on May 2.

His party are set to face mass losses as the country kicks back against depleted local council funding, the cost of living and discontent with the ruling party.

Sunak launched his local election campaign earlier in the week, attacking Labour leader Keir Starmer for “arrogantly” taking voters for granted and “assuming he can just stroll into No 10”.

But a recent poll by Colin Rallings and Michael Thrasher have said Conservative losses are “inevitable” and if the party repeat their “poor performance of 2023, when the NEV put them below 30%, they stand to lose up to 500 seats – half their councillors facing election.”

Sunak has urged unity amongst his colleagues in the face of the poor surveys and Tory infighting.

Some backbench MPs have privately warned that a dire performance during the locals could force another a leadership election – or push the prime minister toward calling an early general election.

On Wednesday, Tory frontbencher Andrew Griffith sought to downplay the significance of the news, as he said ministerial resignations are “not unsurprising or unnatural” at this stage in the election cycle and the Conservatives have a “broad and deep bench to draw from”.

Asked why he believed ministers were quitting ahead of the general election, he told Times Radio: “These are ministers that have given a great deal to this country, they have done a big tour of duty in government and they have also been parliamentarians for a long and distinguished period of time.

“We are very fortunate in the Conservatives, we have a broad and deep bench to draw from and so it is not unsurprising or unnatural at this point in the cycle that out of the many ministers that we have in Government, some have decided that their next tour of duty lies elsewhere. What I can tell you is that speaking to my ministerial colleagues, people are highly engaged, they are very focused on the task in hand … and across the board we are focused on the Prime Minister’s priorities and the good news is they are working.”

Sadiq Khan accuses Tories of ‘lies’

Meanwhile, Sadiq Khan has accused the Conservatives of using misinformation and “lies” in their campaign to unseat him as London mayor after they deleted an online video using scenes of a panicked crowd at a New York subway station to criticise his record on crime.

The ad, posted on Monday on X in support of Susan Hall, Khan’s rival for the London mayoralty in the 2 May election, showed people rushing through New York’s Penn station after false reports of gunfire in 2017.

The caption on the video claimed “London under Labour has become a crime capital of the world”, and showed an emoji of a red rose – the symbol of the Labour party – wilting and shedding its petals.

Sadiq Khan. (File Photo: IANS)

 

“It is quite staggering we have a Conservative candidate aspiring to be mayor of our great city just doing our city down. I think it is unpatriotic always just slagging off the capital,” Khan said, in his first public reaction.

“But I’m afraid it’s another example of my fear materialising, which is this election from the Conservative party will be one where there is misinformation, where there are lies and in this case clearly where this is a video that is not of our city. It is New York.”