How Rishi Sunak surprised the Conservatives in the general election

And what both sides of the election timing argument agreed on was that Sunak needed to find a way, every time he called an election, to take the lead and make the argument.

Wednesday morning’s inflation statistics – long expected to produce a sharp drop in the pace of price increases – became an obvious starting point.

“Inflation is the main problem he had to deal with when he became prime minister,” said a senior Conservative source.

“It is undeniable that we are now back to normal. “We have fulfilled the central mission of his mandate: to confront inflation and put the economy on the right path.”

Pointing to Mr Sunak’s ambitions to reform welfare and enact Rwanda’s small boat policy, among other policies, the source continued: “Frankly, we now need a mandate to be able to do those big, bold things to put the country on track.” correct”.

Another reason for calling elections for July became clearer during Sunak’s interviews this morning, when he admitted that Rwanda’s small boat policy would not begin until after July 4 election day.

Given that Labor policy is to repeal the Rwanda plan, that sets a clear dividing line on how to deal with small boats, without the government having to account for whether the flights have had any deterrent effect, as it would have had to if The elections were in October or November after some flights took off.

However, the timing could have strategic effects both ways.

An influential right-wing Conservative MP declared during Wednesday’s feverish speculation that a summer election would be “madness,” telling me: “I know what question you’re going to ask us over and over again.

“You’ll say we’ve been talking about Rwanda for years and we’ve only managed to get one migrant there, and we paid him to go.”

The main reason why so many Conservatives were horrified that Sunak decided to call an election is that the party remains so far behind in opinion polls.

Others give little importance to this.

“It’s totally the right decision,” said a Sunak ally.

“The impulse to ‘something will turn up’ is strong, but it is hostage to fortune.

“The economy is improving, he has the evidence he needs about that. Leaving it longer would not have improved the political position at all.”

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