With Sunak as PM, almost two-thirds of public want general election: Poll

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London, Oct 25

With Indian-origin Rishi Sunak set to take charge as the British Prime Minister, calls for the general election are getting louder, with almost two-thirds of voters wanting it before the end of the year, a poll has found.

Some 62 per cent of people said they wanted to see a general election be held in 2022, once Rishi Sunak had taken office as Prime Minister, polling company Ipsos has found.

At the beginning of August, 51 per cent of people told Ipsos they would back a general election. The latest figures came from a survey of 1,000 adults between October 20 and 21.

Sunak, who is expected to go to Buckingham Palace to meet King Charles III, ruled out an election quickly after he was announced as the new Conservative leader.

"Certainly, he said that there will be no early general election," Simon Hoare, a senior MP who supported Sunak, told reporters.

In the UK, the next general election due to take place under the law is January 2025, but the Prime Minister has the power to decide a date any time before.

The proportion of calls by the UK public for a general election has increased since Liz Truss announced her resignation on October 20, the Evening Standard reported.

Also, opposition parties have ratcheted up their election calls, claiming Truss's successor has "no mandate".

Boris Johnson loyalist Nadine Dorries said it would be "impossible" to avoid a general election in the weeks ahead, as Rishi Sunak was named as Prime Minister-in-waiting.

"I think everybody who I've spoken to, the public, have said we should have a general election," Labour's deputy leader Angela Rayner told local media.

Another Ipsos poll, taken between October 19 and 20, said Sunak would begin his premiership trailing opposition leader Sir Keir Starmer.

It found that 36 per cent of people thought Sunak would make a good prime minister -- a higher total than any other Conservative but slightly behind Sir Keir's total of 46 per cent.

Sunak will make a bad Prime Minister, with 32 per cent of the people saying that about him, while 28 per cent think Sir Keir would do a bad job.

"In choosing Rishi Sunak as the next prime minister, the Conservative Party have picked a contender with the widest appeal, but the public is still uncertain whether he will do a good job in the office," Keiran Pedley, director of political research at Ipsos, said.

Around 54 per cent of Conservative voters thought Sunak would do a good job as Prime Minister, compared to 52 per cent who thought Johnson would do a good job if he were brought back, the Ipsos poll said.

--IANS

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