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Could Rishi Sunak gamble on a summer election? Fevered speculation arises as some Downing Street aides warn the Prime Minister the fragile Tory truce may not hold

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Rishi Sunak’s aides are urging him to hold a summer general election amid fears Tory rebels will step up their plotting.

His inner circle is said to believe the situation is untenable and the Prime Minister should go to the polls as early as June.

With Westminster speculating about the number of letters of no confidence lodged by MPs against Mr Sunak, his aides fear he cannot wait until autumn.

His woes continued yesterday as Britain’s top polling expert gave Labour a 99 per cent chance of forming the next government. 

The mood inside Downing Street is said to be bleak after two loyal ministers said they were stepping down on Tuesday, bringing the number of Tory MPs quitting at the next election to 63.

Advisers are said to be fatigued as the polls get worse and worried about Reform gaining ground. Some of the PM’s senior aides are already said to be looking for post-election jobs.

Rishi Sunak's aides are urging him to hold a summer general election amid fears Tory rebels will step up their plotting

Rishi Sunak’s aides are urging him to hold a summer general election amid fears Tory rebels will step up their plotting

Leading pollster Sir John Curtice said it was now 'extremely unlikely' that the PM would be able to overturn Labour's commanding poll lead. Pictured: Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer

Leading pollster Sir John Curtice said it was now ‘extremely unlikely’ that the PM would be able to overturn Labour’s commanding poll lead. Pictured: Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer

Those inside Westminster say the Whitehall machine has slowed down and ministers are complaining that policies are held up due to indecision in No10.

Those close to the Prime Minister are said to believe it would be worse to carry on until the autumn, with more Tories standing down and others plotting against him. 

May’s local election results are expected to be bruising and there are concerns that the loss of a large number of seats will intensify unhappiness among restive MPs.

It comes amid extraordinary claims that Mr Sunak himself is beginning to question his own ability to rescue the situation. 

Tim Montgomerie, a prominent former Tory adviser, said a source in No10 had told him that the PM was ‘openly saying to advisers in Downing Street, ‘Am I not very good at this? Why isn’t anything happening?’

Preparations for a general election have already begun, with departments being asked for policy ideas for the Tory manifesto and the Chancellor preparing for a fiscal event before it is called. 

Asked about the prospect of a July election yesterday, a No10 source said: ‘The working assumption is second half of the year.’ July would technically fall in the latter half of the year.

To trigger a summer election, Mr Sunak would have to call it at the end of April for June, and the end of May for July.

Those inside Westminster say the Whitehall machine has slowed down and ministers are complaining that policies are held up due to indecision in No10

Those inside Westminster say the Whitehall machine has slowed down and ministers are complaining that policies are held up due to indecision in No10

Leading pollster Sir John Curtice said yesterday it was now ‘extremely unlikely’ that the PM would be able to overturn Labour’s commanding poll lead and hang on to power whenever the election is called. 

The professor of politics at Strathclyde University said Sir Keir Starmer’s chances of becoming prime minister were also boosted by the unwillingness of either the Liberal Democrats or SNP to prop up a Conservative government. He said there was now a ’99 per cent chance’ of Labour winning.

One source close to rebels plotting to remove the PM said: ‘When you have John Curtice predicting that Labour have a 99 per cent chance of winning it is hard to see how anyone can question the logic of at least considering whether a new leader would do a better job.

‘It is patently obvious that we need to roll the dice before the election.’

But Treasury minister Andrew Griffith yesterday insisted that the Tories ‘can win the election’.

He told GB News: ‘I understand that people have had their frustrations, but the answers to those frustrations are all Conservative.’



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