Stop Labour's 'supermajority': UK PM Sunak's message as election campaign winds up
   Date :03-Jul-2024
By Aditi Khanna
London, Jul 3 (PTI)
Stop Labour's "supermajority" is the final message British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is trying to drive home on Wednesday, the final day of campaigning ahead of polling day on Thursday, as most of the incumbent Conservatives seem to have all but conceded defeat in the general election.
"This is what unites us. We need to stop the Labour supermajority that will put up your taxes. The only way to do that is to vote Conservative tomorrow," said 44-year-old Sunak on social media, as he focused on drumming up support in the last few hours of the campaign trail.
With his party trailing far behind the Keir Starmer-led Labour Party, the British Indian leader and his team's strategy seems to be to canvas their traditional voters to ensure a strong enough turnout in the polls on Thursday and narrow the gap of their widely expected defeat after Tory victories in the last three elections.
"I totally accept where the polls are at the moment means that tomorrow is likely to see the largest Labour landslide majority – the largest majority that this country has ever seen. Much bigger than 1997," Sunak's Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride told the BBC.
“I have accepted that where the polls are at the moment... That we are therefore tomorrow highly likely to be in a situation where [Labour has] the largest majority that any party has ever achieved," he said, effectively conceding his party's defeat.
It is being seen as a fear tactic to jolt Tory voters into action, with the hope of keeping the Labour majority under that won by former prime minister Tony Blair led Labour Party in 1997 of 179 seats.
"Thursday's vote is now all about forming a strong enough Opposition. One needs to read the writing on the wall: it's over, and we need to prepare for the reality and frustration of the Opposition," Suella Braverman, sacked as home secretary by Rishi Sunak, told ‘The Telegraph'.
Meanwhile, former prime minister Boris Johnson – not exactly a close ally of Sunak ever since the partygate scandal of COVID pandemic law-breaking parties – was also rolled out by the party at a campaign event in London to warn against a “sledgehammer majority” being handed to the Keir Starmer led Labour Party.
"When Rishi asked me to come and help, of course I couldn't say no. We're all here because we love our country," Johnson told a cheering Tory crowd.
"They can achieve nothing in this election except to usher in the most left-wing Labour government since the war with a huge majority, and we must not let it happen,” he warned.
The Labour Party, meanwhile, is keen to override this message of victory as a foregone conclusion a day before the polls to fight against any complacency within the ranks and among its own voter base.
"People are saying the polls predict the future – they don't predict the future, every single vote counts, every single vote has to be earned… It isn't 'job done',” said Starmer.
Polling experts have forecast a low turnout, which stood at 67 per cent in the last general election in December 2019 when Johnson won a solid majority on his “get Brexit done” message.
On Thursday, polling booths will open across the country at 7am local time and close at 10pm local time as voters elect their MPs for the UK Parliament's 650 constituencies – with 326 required for a majority and to avert a hung Parliament.
All eyes will then be on the election night exit poll at 10pm, which gives a fair snapshot of what can be expected nationally as the counting commences and centres up and down the UK. If opinion polls are to be believed, the incumbent Tories are in line to win anywhere between 53 and 150 seats, with Labour projected to win a landslide.