Election latest: Tories 'facing electoral extinction', says pollster - as candidate says he agrees with Nigel Farage (2024)

Key points
  • Tories 'facing electoral extinction' as two polls show support cratering
  • Amid Reform threat, Tory candidate says he agrees with Farage on most issues
  • Most people back NHS funding going up - even with tax rises
  • Starmer doesn't say where funding for NHS will come from
  • What did IFS say about Labour's NHS promises
  • Questions over Labour claim on '10 million NHS waiting list'
  • Will Jennings:What the polls tell us about what will happen on 4 July
  • Live reporting by Ben Bloch and (earlier)Tim Baker
Election essentials
  • Check parties' manifesto pledges:Conservatives|Greens|Labour|Lib Dems|Plaid Cymru
  • Trackers:Who's leading polls?|Is PM keeping promises?
  • Campaign Heritage:Memorable moments from elections gone by
  • Follow Sky's politics podcasts:Electoral Dysfunction|Politics At Jack And Sam's
  • Read more:Who is standing down?|Key seats to watch|How to register to vote|What counts as voter ID?|Check if your constituency is changing|Your essential guide to election lingo|Sky's election night plans

06:40:09

Labour say Tories attacking them over 'fantasy plans' for a 'taxtopia'

Among the big interviews in the Sunday newspapers, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt spoke to the Sun on Sunday.

He addressed one of the key election battlegrounds - tax - and admitted the Conservatives had put it up while in power.

But he claimed the party was starting to bring it down after cutting four points off national insurance.

Mr Hunt added: "That's a tax cut for working people and we want to go further in the next parliament.

"Compare that to taxtopia. Taxtopia is what we will get under a Labour government."

In response, a Labour spokesperson said: "This desperate Tory party is now reduced every day to making up a new Labour plan that does not exist."

They added: "We are not going to spend the next two weeks responding to whatever fantasy plans the Tories are making up."

Last week, the Conservative Party held a press conference to claim that any tax rise Labour had not ruled out signified Sir Keir Starmer was going to put it up.

Labour has already ruled out at least one of these - introducing capital gains tax on first homes.

The party has repeatedly taken the position that it will not raise taxes on "working people", and it has ruled out raises on VAT, income tax and national insurance.

You can read economics and data editor Ed Conway's analysis of the various manifestos and their costs here.

06:24:50

Good morning

Welcome back to the Politics Hub.

As it's a Sunday, Trevor Phillips will be questioning politicians from 8.30am.

Coming up this morning, we'll be hearing from:

  • 8.30am: Labour shadow health secretary Wes Streeting;
  • 8.55am: Conservative transport secretary Mark Harper;
  • 9.20am: Green Party co-leader Adrian Ramsay;
  • 9.30am: Labour peer Lord Mandelson.

We'll also be hearing from our panel throughout the show.

Today, this consists of former chancellor Nadhim Zahawi, former head of Channel 4 News Dorothy Byrne and FT columnist Miranda Green.

23:00:01

That's all for today

Thank you for joining us for live coverage of politics today as the general election campaign continues.

It was a slightly calmer day on the campaign trail, with national and international events taking Rishi Sunak's focus.

Sir Keir Starmer and Labour had a health focus this morning, and are continuing to promote their pledge to fix the NHS.

Join us again from 7am for the very latest political news.

And tune in to Sky News from 8.30am for Sunday Morning with Trevor Phillips, where we will be hearing from:

  • Mark Harper, transport secretary;
  • Wes Streeting, shadow health secretary;
  • Adrian Ramsay, Green Party co-leader;
  • Lord Mandelson, former cabinet minister.

22:51:32

Coming up on Sunday Morning With Trevor Phillips

Our flagship Sunday morning show, hosted byTrevor Phillips, will be live on Sky News from 8.30am, and we have a packed line-up for you after this eventful week of the campaign.

Trevor will be chatting to:

  • Mark Harper, transport secretary;
  • Wes Streeting, shadow health secretary;
  • Adrian Ramsay, Green Party co-leader;
  • Lord Mandelson, former cabinet minister.

On Trevor's expert panel will be:

  • Nadhim Zahawi, former chancellor;
  • Dorothy Byrne, former head of Channel 4 News;
  • Miranda Green, columnist at the Financial Times.

Watch live on Sky News and in the stream at the top of this page - and follow updates here in the Politics Hub.

WatchSunday Morning with Trevor Phillipsfrom 8.30am every Sunday on Sky channel 501, Virgin channel 602, Freeview channel 233, on theSky News websiteandappor onYouTube.

22:32:40

Tories claim Labour 'might' raise council tax - but opposition blasts Tory 'fantasy'

The Labour Party are tonight hitting out at "fantasy" claims they say the Tories are making about their plans, insisting their policies are fully costed.

The Conservative Party is continuing to claim that Labour has secret plans to raise a variety of taxes, and is tonight demanding that Labour explicitly rules out raising council tax, arguing that because it is not in their manifesto, the door is open for it to be raised.

But a Labour spokesperson said in a statement that they are "not going to spend the next two weeks responding to whatever fantasy plans the Tories are making up".

"They would be better off considering how they were meant to be the antidote to Liz Truss and ended up becoming nothing more than the latest instalment of her disastrous approach," they added.

22:23:51

Jenrick appeals to the right to unite as Tories face electoral trouncing

Former immigration minister Robert Jenrick has penned an op-ed appealing for the right-wing of British politics to pull together to avoid ending up in a "one-party state" under Labour that will "change our country for the worse".

Writing in The Sunday Telegraph, the likely Tory leadership candidate (should the Tories lose next month and Mr Sunak step down), admitted that the "right-wingcommon sense majority is fatally divided between the Conservatives and Reform", which could give Labour "a majority so large, they can change our country for a generation".

As a result, he is making an appeal "to heads over hearts".

He said he has "immense sympathy for those natural conservatives who feel let down and drawn to Reform" - and that he shares "many" of their "frustrations".

He pointed to high taxes, the "soft" criminal justice system, and public services that are "too inefficient".

Touting his own credentials, he noted that he quit the cabinet due to disagreements with Rishi Sunak's government on immigration.

But he repeated the party line that "a vote for Reform will only give Labour a blank cheque to take our country back to the 1970s".

"Some voters feel so angry with the Tories that a Labour landslide is a price they are willing to pay. Again, I have great sympathy with their frustrations and know that we must meet the British public's expectations.

"That is the task I have dedicated myself to since resigning. But don't be fooled by Labour’s cautious public posture."

Mr Jenrick went on to attack Labour, saying they will raise taxes, expand "expensive and unaccountable government quangos", and bring in "toxic diversity, equity and inclusion policies that divide and discriminate against hard-working people".

Concluding, he argued that Reform UK "cannot be the answer", and appealed to natural conservatives to vote for the Conservative Party.

22:16:38

'It rests on my shoulders': Sunak rejects assertions Truss partly to blame for Tory performance

Rishi Sunak has given an interview in which he accepted full responsibility for his party's performance in this general election, and spoke about how he is carrying on through the disastrous campaign.

Speaking to The Sunday Times, the PM said he is not frustrated that voters are not rewarding him for steadying the ship after the chaotic 49-day Truss premiership, saying his faith carries him through.

He told the paper: "In Hinduism, there's a concept of duty called dharma, which is roughly translated as being about doing your duty and not having a focus on the outcomes of it.

"And you do [your duty] because it's the right thing to do, and you have to detach your self from the outcome of it."

He said it is "not an easy thing to do", but that he was raised with it, and said it gives him "the strength to deal with" the challenges he is facing.

"I get fulfilment from just doing what I believe is right."

Following a series of terrible polls - including one from YouGov showing Reform UK overtaking the Tories for the first time, Mr Sunak was asked if Liz Truss is partly to blame for the party's position.

But he rejected that, replying: "I'm ultimately responsible for what I'm doing and no one else is. It rests on my shoulders."

He went on: "Look, we have had a tough time. But I really think that after a lot of hard work and resilience from everybody, we've got through the worst of that, and we've turned a corner."

21:31:20

Lonely Sunak fights battle on three fronts at election midpoint

By Dr Hannah Bunting, Sky News elections analyst, and Joely Santa Cruz, data journalist

This week, the leaders were selling their visions to voters as they launched their manifestos, and Sunak and Starmer went head to head in Grimsby at the Sky News live election special The Battle For Number 10.

Watch their journeys in the latest week in our animated map below.

This campaign is being fought on new electoral boundaries, with many constituencies undergoing significant changes since 2019.

For the purposes of this analysis, we use notional results based on calculations by Colin Rallings and Michael Thrasher, Honorary Professors at the University of Exeter, which estimate the 2019 election seat results if they had taken place on the new constituency boundaries.

Read the full piece below:

21:00:01

Electoral Dysfunction: Behind the scenes of The Battle for Number 10

Beth Rigby has revealed how she decided on a "narrative" before quizzing the Labour and Tory leaders at Sky News's special event - and how a morning run almost scuppered everything.

Sir Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak took turns for a 45-minute grilling at Sky News' Battle For Number 10 in Grimsby, with questions coming from a representative audience.

First to interrogate both leaders was political editor Rigby, who has lifted the lid on what it's like to prepare, execute (and almost miss) the big event.

"Kay Burley told me when I first came into telly 'fail to prepare, prepare to fail'," she told former Labour MP Margaret Hodge on the Electoral Dysfunction podcast.

"So, I took these two mottos into this very intense interview prep… you get loads of information and you start to try and work out what's the narrative that you want to tell."

The secret, she said, is to look at everything and then "distil it" until you have a clear "narrative arc".

"With Starmer, the thing really was - how can you trust this guy? That was the premise," she said.

"But for Sunak, it was like, you say you've got a clear plan, you say you're going to deliver… so, what's the Conservative record? But more importantly, what's your record?

"Because you've actually been prime minister. You made five pledges, and then there was a broader question about what were the betrayals to the British people."

But disaster almost struck before the event had even started.

"The night before, I woke up at, like, five in the morning, fully awake," she said, adding she could "feel the adrenaline".

So, she decided to go for a run.

"I just saw I'm coming to the end of the road. And I went to turn round, and, as I turned, I nearly ran into a moving car. So, I nearly got run over," she explained.

Not the kind of car crash anyone would have expected that day.

Listen to the full podcast here:

👉Click here to follow Electoral Dysfunction wherever you get your podcasts👈

Email the team electoraldysfunction@sky.uk, post on X to @BethRigby, or send a WhatsApp voice note on 07934 200 444.

20:30:01

The Conservative candidates ditching the Tory brand

By Tom Cheshire, Megan Harwood-Baynes, Mary Poynter, online campaign team

How bad is the Conservative brand?

Bad enough for dozens of its own candidates to avoid using it, according to research from Sky's Online Campaign Team and Who Targets Me.

We looked at the adverts published on Facebook and Instagram by 521 Labour and Conservative candidates from 1 May until 12 June.

Of these, 376 adverts contained official branding (logos and colours), 104 had some form of partial branding, and 41 had no branding at all.

And the vast majority of those with no branding - 38 - were Conservative.

Read more here:

Election latest: Tories 'facing electoral extinction', says pollster - as candidate says he agrees with Nigel Farage (2024)

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