Former Lib Dem leader Tim Farron has called for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to seek an early general election to avoid the risk of being seen as illegitimately in power. He warned that Mr Sunak should learn from the lessons of Gordon Brown’s premiership. But do you think Britain should go to the polls early? Vote in our poll.
Mr Sunak was declared as Conservative leader on October 24, after he was unopposed in the race to succeed Liz Truss. Despite inheriting Boris Johnson’s landslide majority in the Commons, he is yet to win his own mandate.
Mr Farron claimed that Mr Sunak should call an early election to ease Britain’s perspective on the economic situation as households grapple with spiralling bills amid the cost of living crisis.
He told Express.co.uk: “Obviously I’ve given you some political advice already. Which is I think he should seek [an early election]. He should learn the lesson of Gordon Brown and not run the risk of being seen as illegitimate. And therefore losing whatever support he does have, so I think an early election is important for him as well as the country.”
When Mr Brown took over from Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair in 2007 he did not call an election, yet waited until 2010 in a bid to bolster his mandate from the public. Similarly, Tory Prime Minister Theresa May waited a year into her premiership, which began in 2016, before calling an election.
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Political figures have been vocal about the need for an early election in recent months after Mr Sunak became the third Prime Minister this year.
Speaking after Ms Truss’ resignation, Labour Leader Sir Keir Starmer said: “The Tories cannot respond to their latest shambles by yet again simply clicking their fingers and shuffling the people at the top without the consent of the British people.
“They do not have a mandate to put the country through yet another experiment; Britain is not their personal fiefdom to run how they wish. The British public deserve a proper say on the country’s future.”
Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Sir Ed Davey tweeted after Mr Sunak took office: “The Conservatives have trashed our economy, pushed health services to the brink, and added hundreds of pounds to people’s mortgage payments. Now Conservative MPs have installed another out-of-touch Prime Minister without giving you a say. We need a general election now.”
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said it would be “unthinkable” for Mr Sunak to wait two years before going to the polls.
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The latest YouGov/Times voting intention poll, conducted a fortnight into Rishi Sunak’s premiership showed Labour maintaining a significant lead over the Conservatives.
Figures show Labour winning with 48 percent of the vote, compared to the Conservatives’ 25 percent.
Britons are not due to vote in a general election until January 2025, five years after Mr Johnson won the Tories win their biggest majority since the 1980s.
So what do YOU think? POLL QUESTION. Vote in our poll and leave your thoughts in the comment section below.