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Keir Starmer ‘ready for May election’ as he warns Tories will ‘go low’ in fight for No 10 | Politics News

Sir Keir Starmer said he is primed for a general election as soon as May, as he warned that the Tories will “go low” in the fight for Number 10.

While Rishi Sunak is thought to be considering holding off until autumn 2024 for the contest, reports suggest a spring election is gaining traction within Downing Street.

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Addressing a Business Forum at the Labour conference, Sir Keir said: “I’m not going to predict the outcome of the general election, nor when it will be.

“Though obviously it will either be May or October, and our team is ready for May because I don’t think anybody would rule out May.”

He added that in terms of how the campaign will be run he said he thinks “it will unfortunately descend into a place which isn’t about big politics”.

“I think it will go low, from the government’s point of view.”

He said that the prime minister’s decision to water down net zero measures showed that “instead of making decisions in the long-term interest of the UK, the government is in danger of making decisions in the short-term interest of opening up divides for the purpose of an election”.

“When a government gets into that place, whatever political party it is, that’s a bad place for the country,” Sir Keir warned.

UK general elections have to be held no more than five years apart, with the maximum term of a parliament five years from the day it first met.

The current parliament first met on 17 December 2019 and will automatically dissolve on 17 December 2024, with polling day expected to take place 25 days later (not counting any bank holidays or weekends).

This means the next election will take place by the end of January 2025 at the absolute latest.

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Sir Keir Starmer is being urged to be less ‘timid’

With the Tories lagging behind Labour in the polls, many experts believe Mr Sunak will wait until the autumn to call a vote to give him time to make progress on the economy.

But others believe spring could be a better option to avoid potentially damaging local elections in May and a rise in Channel crossings over summer.

Read More:
When could the next general election be? The factors Rishi Sunak will be weighing up

Labour has spent the past year pitching itself as a government-in waiting, and has made a concerted effort to get business leaders on its side ahead of the election.

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