Despite the Conservatives receiving a dreadful performance in the municipal elections, Rishi Sunak has boldly endorsed himself to be re-elected as prime minister for another term.
When asked if he would remain prime minister during the subsequent election, Mr. Sunak responded, “Yes. I’m making a lot of effort to satisfy the British people.
“That’s my priority, that’s what I am thinking about. I’m confident we can deliver for people. I know that things are tough right now, but I think we have made good progress in the six months that I’ve been in the job. I’ll just keep at it.”
The prime minister said he was “not particularly interested in any chat or anything about coalitions” and specifically disclaimed any intention of striking an agreement with the Democratic Unionist Party following a general election.
In 2017, the DUP supported Theresa May’s administration.
Mr. Sunak’s confidence in his electoral chances is in stark contrast to recent surveys that put the Conservatives 17 points behind Labour.
It also fails to take into account the results of this month’s local elections, in which the Conservatives lost more than 1,000 seats and hemorrhaged councilors as a result of a surge of votes for Labour, the Lib Dems, and the Green Party.
Labour would be the largest party barely short of a majority if the results were extrapolated to the expected vote share in a general election, with the Tories losing hundreds of seats.
While promising me last week that he would not enter into any kind of agreement with the SNP, Sir Keir Starmer has been ambiguous about whether he will negotiate a deal. He has also refused seven times to rule out a deal with the Lib Dems.
This is a shift from the Labour leader’s stance from a year ago, when he categorically rejected any kind of agreement with any political party, explicitly including the Lib Dems.
The stance reflects the possibility that, following the election, which is anticipated for the fall of next year, Labour would find itself having to reach an agreement with the Lib Dems.
If Sir Keir wins the election but doesn’t secure an absolute majority, he doesn’t want to rule out a deal only to reverse course afterwards.