Survey indicates UK PM Rishi Sunak may benefit from undecided voters

A local election coming around a year before a general election is due to be held is seen as a sign of things to come for all parties in the UK.

London: As England gears up for local elections next month, a new survey on Saturday indicates that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak may be poised to benefit somewhat from a swing towards the ruling Conservative Party from a large chunk of undecided voters.

Polling for The Times’ newspaper shows that almost a third of all voters either don’t know how they will cast their ballot or say they won’t vote at all.

Asked who would make the best Prime Minister between Sunak and Opposition Labour Party leader Keir Starmer, the YouGov analysis shows 21 per cent say Sunak while 8 per cent back Starmer.

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“Undecideds are also almost four times more likely to trust Sunak and the Conservatives to handle the economy than they are to trust Labour, which in past elections has always been a good indicator of how people cast their ballot,” the newspaper analysis notes.

The survey, just weeks before the May 4 polling for local councils, shows that if an election were to be held tomorrow the “don’t knows” would be the UK’s third largest party with 16 per cent of the vote and 2 percent behind the Tories.

“Tory and Labour strategists acknowledge that this group presents both the biggest opportunity to Sunak and the biggest threat to Starmer’s hopes of a healthy Labour majority when the general election comes.

On the positive side for the Tories, at the moment this group seems to be leaning towards Sunak,” the newspaper poll analysis reads.

A local election coming around a year before a general election is due to be held is seen as a sign of things to come for all parties in the UK.

Based on their own internal polling, the Conservative Party strategists reportedly believe that the percentage of the electorate which is up for grabs is between 30 and 40 per cent. They hope that, as the general election gets closer, this group will ultimately end up backing Sunak.

“The parallel is 2014 when the Tories were six points behind in the polls but [Tory leader David] Cameron was significantly outpolling [Labour leader] Ed Miliband as best prime minister,” a senior figure in the Conservative campaign told The Times’.

“When it came to the election in 2015 those voters came to us because of who they thought would make the best prime minister. But it’s going to be a long time before that shows up in headline voting intention,” the source added, with reference to David Cameron going on to be elected Prime Minister in 2015.

The Labour Party, however, holds an overall 18-point poll lead over the governing Tories.

An average of all polls by the website Politico shows that while Sunak has substantially improved the party’s position since predecessor Liz Truss’ brief time at Downing Street, the Tories still face an uphill task to win over voters in time for the next general election.

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