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Election guru’s pep talk to Tories will encourage ministers to believe they CAN triumph in next ballot

  • Conservatives could win an election if infighting ends and priorities delivered
  • Rishi Sunak will gather his Cabinet at Chequers this afternoon for an ‘away day’
  • New Year pledges include tackling NHS waiting lists and stopping migrants

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The Conservatives still have a ‘narrow’ path to election victory, provided they can deliver on the public’s priorities and end the party’s toxic infighting, Cabinet ministers will be told today.

Rishi Sunak will gather his Cabinet at Chequers this afternoon for an ‘away day’ designed to deliver on his New Year pledges and set a course for next year’s election.

Downing Street said ministers would be asked to give updates on progress towards his five pledges, which include restoring economic competence, tackling NHS waiting lists and stopping the Channel migrant crossings.

But they will also hold extended discussions on the party’s strategy for winning the general election, pencilled in for the autumn of next year.

The Conservatives still have a ¿narrow¿ path to election victory, provided they can deliver on the public¿s priorities and end the party¿s toxic infighting. The Prime Minister is pictured at his first PMQs on October 26

The Conservatives still have a ‘narrow’ path to election victory, provided they can deliver on the public’s priorities and end the party’s toxic infighting. The Prime Minister is pictured at his first PMQs on October 26

Opinion polls have put Labour more than 20 points ahead since last summer, suggesting that Sir Keir Starmer, pictured on January 25, is on course for Downing Street

Opinion polls have put Labour more than 20 points ahead since last summer, suggesting that Sir Keir Starmer, pictured on January 25, is on course for Downing Street

Elections guru Isaac Levido will give a detailed presentation on the state of the parties, in which he will warn that the Tories have only a ‘narrow’ path to election victory.

Opinion polls have put Labour more than 20 points ahead since last summer, suggesting that Sir Keir Starmer is on course for Downing Street.

But Mr Levido, who played a key role in Boris Johnson’s 2019 landslide win, will tell ministers the lead is ‘softer than it looks’.

A Tory source said: ‘He won’t sugar-coat it – the numbers really are not good. But he will say there is a path to victory, albeit a narrow one.

‘The polling suggests that Starmer still is not loved and that support for Labour is not baked in. People will vote Labour if the Tories don’t get their act together, but there is still an opportunity to salvage things.’

Another source said: ‘The polls are not wrong – we are a long way behind on voting intention. But voters are not thinking about an election now, and on the key question of who would make the best prime minister, the numbers are a lot closer.’

Mr Levido will warn ministers that the Conservatives have to end the infighting that saw the party oust two prime ministers last year if they are to have any hope of restoring public trust.

And he will say that delivering on the five priorities is a vital first step in persuading voters that Tory competence has returned.

Mr Sunak¿s pledges include halving inflation this year, kick-starting economic growth and bringing the UK¿s towering debts under control (pictured with wife Akshata Murty on January 25)

Mr Sunak’s pledges include halving inflation this year, kick-starting economic growth and bringing the UK’s towering debts under control (pictured with wife Akshata Murty on January 25)

The Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his wife Akshata Murty host a Scottish Culture showcase in 10 Downing Street

The Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his wife Akshata Murty host a Scottish Culture showcase in 10 Downing Street

Mr Sunak’s pledges include halving inflation this year, kick-starting economic growth and bringing the UK’s towering debts under control.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, Health Secretary Steve Barclay and Home Secretary Suella Braverman will all give presentations on progress towards the five goals. Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride is expected to discuss efforts to persuade hundreds of thousands of people aged over 50 back to work – an issue seen as vital to growth prospects.

Embattled Tory Party chairman Nadhim Zahawi will attend the event, but sources said he would not give a presentation, despite the focus on electoral strategy, which he is nominally in charge of.

A Tory source said Sir Keir would be targeted over his ‘big areas of vulnerability’, including Labour’s ‘woman problem’, which has left senior figures paralysed in the debate over trans rights that has split the party.

They will also focus on the party’s reliance on funding for trade unions at the heart of the current wave of strikes, Sir Keir’s opposition to the deporting of Channel migrants to Rwanda and Labour’s ‘lack of appetite’ for dealing with concerns about immigration.

Sir Keir last night acknowledged that Labour’s lead in the polls would not necessarily translate into election victory.

In an interview with the Spectator, he said: ‘I am concerned about complacency. In the end we have – I think and I hope – put the Labour party in a position where we are, very clearly, about country first and party second. That’s the first time that’s happened for a long time. But we haven’t won anything yet.’

Source: Daily Mail UK

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