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Rishi Sunak rules out general election on 2 May

Rishi Sunak has ruled out holding a general election on 2 May following speculation the prime minister could choose to go to the polls early.

Mr Sunak previously said it was his “working assumption” that an election would be held in the second half of this year but he had not previously ruled out a May date – until now.

Asked by ITV whether there would be an election on that date – the same as the local and mayoral elections – Mr Sunak replied: “There won’t be a general election on that day.

“But when there is a general election, what matters is the choice.”

As the Tories continue to lag behind Labour in the polls, Mr Sunak has been under pressure from some MPs to call the election in May to prevent the political and economic situation from deteriorating.

Those agitating for a May election have argued that holding out until the autumn could mean a summer news cycle that is dominated by an increase in small boat crossings in the Channel – likely to be a big election issue – while MPs have previously told Sky News they did not think Mr Sunak “has nothing left in the tank”.

The latest a general election can be held is by the end of January 2025.

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However, others have argued the prime minister must be given more time to try and turn the polls around, where his party is currently lagging 26 points behind Labour.

There is also a chance of improving economic data in the coming weeks after monthly GDP figures on Tuesday pointed to Britain coming out of recession by the time of the next quarterly figures in May.

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