Next Prime Minister under pressure to call election within months, poll reveals


ritain’s new Prime Minister will immediately come under pressure to call a General Election within months, a new poll revealed Tuesday.

The Ipsos survey for The Standard showed 51 per cent of adults support an election this year, with only 20 per cent taking the opposite view.

Even among Conservative 2019 voters, 40 per cent back Liz Truss, or Rishi Sunak, going to the country once in No10 to seek her or his own mandate from the people to govern, compared to 34 per cent who are against such a move.

The findings contrast with the reaction to Theresa May calling a snap election in 2017 which was memorably slammed by “Brenda from Bristol” who said: “You’re joking. Not another one? Oh for God’s sake… I can’t stand this.”

The poll came as digital minister Matt Warman admitted the Tory leadership contest has been “disruptive” to the Government in the middle of the growing cost-of-living crisis.

Millions of households face energy bills sky-rocketing from £1,971 to £3,549 in October.

The five main reasons, given by those backing an election, for holding one this year are:

* Forty-six per cent because they believe the country is in crisis and needs to decide a way forward.

* Four in ten (39 per cent) want to change the Government.

* 38 per cent say the public should be more involved in political decision-making.

* 37 per cent cite that the new PM will not have won a General Election.

* 37 per cent believe the new premier should seek permission from voters for any changes that they want to make.

But more than half of those opposing an election (53 per cent) are doing so on the grounds that the country is in crisis and holding one now would be a distraction.

Forty-eight per cent say that the Conservative government already has a mandate from the public from the 2019 election.

Forty-six per cent believe that politicians should just “get on with the job” of running the country.

Just over a third (35 per cent) think that the new PM should have time to finish the job Boris Johnson started, with 32 per cent saying a General Election is “unnecessary”.

The new Tory leader will be announced next Monday and will take over as Prime Minister on Tuesday.

Polls suggest Foreign Secretary Ms Truss will win the contest but ex-Chancellor Mr Sunak has not thrown in the towel, with hustings being held in London on Wednesday.

The new premier is not expected to swiftly trigger an election, given the cost-of-living crisis and the risk of becoming the shortest-serving PM in history.

Thirty-nine per cent believe if there was an election this year, it would decrease the Conservatives’ chances of winning compared to if it happened in 2023 or later, while 16 per cent believe it would boost the likelihood of a Tory victory.

Ipsos UK chief executive Kelly Beaver said: “Whoever the new Prime Minister is come September, the public aren’t going to be giving them time to settle in, with half already calling for a General Election and even more Conservative voters wanting one than not.”

Mr Warman, who is backing Mr Sunak, warned the cost-of-living crisis was going to hit people “further up those income scales” so a new package of support should include an element of “universality”.

Ms Truss’s camp says she will not finalise her cost-of-living plans before receiving the “full support and advice” available to the Government of the day.

She also intends to boost the “LibDem Unit” at Tory HQ to fight off threats to Conservative MPs, particularly in southern England, and is reportedly ready to approve a series of oil and gas drilling licences in the North Sea to boost the UK’s energy security.

But she has come underfire from both Mr Sunak’s team and Labour for pulling out of an indepth interview with the BBC’s Nick Robinson.

Mr Johnson was on a broadband visit to Dorset in what was being dubbed his “farewell tour” this week.

* Ipsos interviewed 2,164 adults aged 18-75 online across Britain between August 5 and 8. Data are weighted.

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