Election latest: Tory minister put on spot about 'politics of fear tactic' - as leaders' last day schedules revealed (2024)

Election week
  • Where party leaders will be as campaign enters final 24 hours
  • Beth Rigby:With the final hours upon us, Labour insiders remain cautious - but can't help feeling the party's time has come
  • Tory minister on spot about 'politics of fear tactic'
  • Electoral Dysfunction:What to watch out for on election night
  • Live reporting by Faith Ridler
Election essentials
  • Manifesto pledges:Conservatives|Greens|Labour|Lib Dems|Plaid|Reform|SNP
  • Trackers:Who's leading polls?|Is PM keeping promises?
  • Follow Sky's politics podcasts:Electoral Dysfunction|Politics At Jack And Sam's
  • Read more:Who is standing down?|Key seats to watch|What counts as voter ID?|Check if your constituency is changing|Guide to election lingo
  • How to watch election on Sky News


What is an exit poll?

The first big moment of election night this Thursday is the exit poll.

It'll provide us with our first major insight into the result.

Our political correspondent Serena Barker-Singh explains all you need to know:


Why does the PM keep warning of a 'supermajority' - and what does it mean?

Rishi Sunak has been warning of a Labour "supermajority" for weeks, without explaining exactly what it means.

What's the PM getting at?

"Supermajority" is being used by Mr Sunak to refer to the scale of the Labour victory being projected by many pollsters - with some saying they could top the 419 seats won by Tony Blair in 1997.

That gave Labour a majority of 179, but with the Tories tipped to do even worse than they did back then (165 seats), Sir Keir Starmer could end up enjoying the biggest parliamentary advantage on record.

Mr Sunak has said such a "supermajority" would make it harder for the Labour Party to be held to account in the Commons.

Is he right to sound the alarm?

Well, no - because the concept of a supermajority is meaningless in British democracy.

It's a familiar phrase in US politics, where a supermajority of two-thirds really does matter in some votes.

For example, Congress is required for particularly significant legislation like impeaching a president to hit that two-thirds threshold.

In the UK, a governing party only has to hold more than half of the 650 seats in the Commons, whether that be 326 or much more.

A majority of one could be just as effective as something much bigger - as long as the majority party keeps its MPs in line.

Some have argued the "supermajority" concept isn't without merit, for example in referendums, but it's certainly not relevant to this election despite the Tories' best efforts to make it so.

Whether it's healthy for parliament to be as dominated by one party as it could be from 5 July is another question - but whatever the majority Labour might have, there'll be nothing super about it.


When was it decided that the 'politics of fear' was the Tories' best election tactic?

Mel Stride, the work and pensions secretary, is now joining Sky News for - by our count - the seventh time since the general election campaign began.

The minister warns in his initial answers about what a Labour government could mean.

Presenter Matt Barbetthen asks: "When was it decided that, with a 14-year record, the politics of fear - trying to make people afraid of what comes next - was the best tactic?"

In the last week, Rishi Sunak has repeatedly warned of a Labour "supermajority", urging the British public to make sure the Conservatives keep enough seats to challenge a potential Labour government.

Mr Stride says the Conservatives are pushing a "very positive message" about what the party has achieved in the last decade.

"But it's also right that we make it very clear what the alternative is - and the alternative is much higher taxes under the Labour Party."

This is something that Labour has rejected, claiming repeatedly that every pledge made in its manifesto is fully costed.

Mr Stride says: "It's not a by-election tomorrow, we know what the result is going to be if the polls are right - we know it's going to be a Labour landslide.

"But think about having a party in there that is going to be able to oppose some of the things that this government does when the shine has worn off in six months' time."

Matt Barbetasks why the Conservatives can't be positive about a 14-year record. He points to a lack of growth in wages as one example of the standards of living failing to rise.

"I think we do have a positive story to tell," Mr Stride says.

So what is the minister most proud of in his career?

"I've supported pensioners by making sure that we've found the resources to put pensions up by about 10%," he explains.

"I'm proud of the fact that 200,000 fewer pensioners are in poverty now since the last Labour government."


Ex-DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson facing seven more sex offence charges

Away from the election campaign, and former DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson is facing further sex offence charges, bringing the total to 18.

The Northern Ireland politician has been charged with seven more offences after the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) reviewed the police evidence, as is the normal practice.

When he appeared in court in April, the ex-MP was accused of 11 sex offences.

He denies all allegations.

His wife, Lady Eleanor Donaldson, 58, was facing four charges including aiding and abetting him and will now face five.

The offences are alleged to have taken place between 1985 and 2006 and involve two alleged victims.

The couple were released on bail after appearing at Newry Magistrates Court in Co Down on 24 April.

You can read more from our political reporter Alix Culbertson below:


Electoral Dysfunction: What to watch out for - and how to prepare for election night

Former Labour adviser Ayesha Hazarika is back with Beth and Ruth for the last few days of the election campaign.

On this episode they discuss how Beth is preparing for election night, what constituencies to look out for and election night snacks.

They also discuss the final days of campaigning and why theTories are attacking Keir Starmer for suggesting he willfinish work at 6pm on aFridaynight if he becomes prime minister.

👉Click here to follow Electoral Dysfunction wherever you get your podcasts👈

Email Beth, Ruth, and Ayesha at electoraldysfunction@sky.uk, post on X to @BethRigby, or send a WhatsApp voice note on 07934 200 444.


With the final hours upon us, Labour insiders remain cautious - but can't help feeling the party's time has come

Finally, after six long weeks, the final 24 hours of campaigning is upon us. Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer will be dashing around the country as they make their final pitch to voters.

The prime minister, who may well be out of that job in less than 48 hours, will be sticking to Tory territory in Hampshire and the South East.

The man who is looking almost certain to replace him - Sir Keir - will be touring the three nations of the UK where he is fielding candidates, as he begins the journey to Number 10 via Wales, Scotland and England.

In the Labour camp, they are still intent on turning out the vote and assuming nothing.

One insider suggests to me there are still, as polling day arrives, 60-70 seats which are a "toss up and could go either way".

But there is a quiet admission too that, after four election defeats on the bounce, Labour's time has finally come.


Poll tracker: Where do parties stand on the eve of the election?

Our live poll tracker collates the results of opinion surveys carried out by all the main polling organisations - and allows you to see how the political parties are performing in the run-up to the general election.

With just 24 hours to go, the Tories and Labour have taken a drop, while support for Reform UK and the Liberal Democrats is on the rise.

Read more about the trackerhere.


PM makes final plea to voters as race for Number 10 enters final stretch

We're in the final 24 hours of the general election campaign, and both Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer will spend the day making their last-ditch pleas to Britons.

The prime minister will make the case for voting Conservative, and claim that Tory MPs will help to offer a counterbalance to what is expected to be a landslide majority for Labour.

Poll after poll is now suggesting the Labour Party is expected to win a large majority in parliament, with the Sky News poll of polls putting Sir Keir 19 points ahead this morning.

An average of all polls with fieldwork completed during the seven days to 2 July puts Labour on 40%, 19 points ahead of the Conservatives on 21%, followed by Reform on 16%, the Lib Dems on 11% and the Greens on 6%.

But, appearing to have conceded there's a strong chance of a Labour victory, Mr Sunak has continued to warn against allowing Sir Keir to win what the Americans call a "supermajority".

Mr Sunak has not explained what he regards as a "supermajority" - but, for the purposes of example, it is not clear what difference a majority of 150 would make over one of 50, as both would give Labour a mandate and clear parliamentary authority to carry out their agenda.

Other soundbites you can expect from the PM today: a vote for the Liberal Democrats would help to secure a Labour victory; Reform UK is only likely to win a handful of seats; Labour will impose £2,094 in tax rises for the average household.

The last of these is disputed - the Tories have been criticised for their methodology, not least because the figure is actually stretched out over the entire next parliament, not a single year.

Labour described it as "desperate nonsense".

A spokesman said: "The only way voters can avoid the risk of five more years of Tory government, is by voting for change with Labour."


Good morning!

Today will be a busy day of campaign visits as politicians make a final attempt to secure your vote before polls open tomorrow morning.

Here's what you need to know:

  • Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will stay in Tory territory today, in the South East, as he makes a last-ditch plea to voters not to back an "unchecked" Labour majority;

  • Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer will also be busy on the campaign trail, scrambling to visit three nations of the UK;

  • Labour remain 19 points ahead in the Sky News poll of polls on the eve of the general election, but Sir Keir has continuously stressed the party must fight "for every vote";

  • Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey will call on the public to vote for a party that will "build a caring nation", after the Lib Dems "brought care out of the shadows";

  • And - away from the general election campaign - a hearing will today take place as part of proceedings against former DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson, who is charged with a number of historical sexual offences;

  • Donaldson resigned as leader and was suspended from the party when charges were announced on 29 March. He denies all allegations.

We'll be discussing all this and more with:

  • Labour's Pat McFadden at 8.15am;
  • Munira Wilson for the Liberal Democrats at 9.20am;
  • And we once again welcome Mel Stride - who has been one of the most offered up Tory voices in the media round this campaign. Catch him at 7.15am.

Follow along for the very latest in the general election campaign.


That's all for tonight

Thank you for joining us on the Politics Hub for the second-to-last day of the general election campaign.

It ended with something of a bang, with Boris Johnson making a surprise appearance on the campaign trail with just one full day left until polls open.

Join us again tomorrow from 6am for live coverage of the last full day of this general election campaign.

Election latest: Tory minister put on spot about 'politics of fear tactic' - as leaders' last day schedules revealed (2024)


Is the Tory red or blue? ›

Blue. Blue is usually associated with centre-right or conservative parties, originating from its use by the Tories (predecessor of the Conservative Party) in the United Kingdom.

What is the Tory tradition? ›

The Tory ethos has been summed up with the phrase "God, King (or Queen), and Country". Tories are monarchists, were historically of a high church Anglican religious heritage, and were opposed to the liberalism of the Whig party.

What was Tory government? ›

The Conservative and Unionist Party, commonly the Conservative Party and colloquially known as the Tories, is one of the two main political parties in the United Kingdom, along with the Labour Party.

Why are they called Tory? ›

As a political term, Tory was an insult (derived from the Middle Irish word tóraidhe, modern Irish tóraí, meaning "outlaw", "robber", from the Irish word tóir, meaning "pursuit" since outlaws were "pursued men") that entered English politics during the Exclusion Bill crisis of 1678–1681.

What wing is Tory Party? ›

The Conservative Party (informally as the Tory Party) is the main right wing, sometimes centre-right, political party in the United Kingdom.

What is the history of the Tory Party? ›

From the 1780s until the 1820s the dominant grouping was those Whigs following William Pitt the Younger. From about 1812 on the name "Tory" was commonly used for a new party called by the historian Robert Blake "the ancestors of 'Conservatism.

What is a Tory in the American Revolution? ›

Loyalists were colonists in the Thirteen Colonies who remained loyal to the British Crown during the American Revolutionary War, often referred to as Tories, Royalists or King's Men at the time.

What is the difference between Whigs and Tories? ›

Later, the Whigs came to draw support from the emerging industrial reformists and the mercantile class while the Tories came to draw support from farmers, landowners, royalists and (relatedly) those who favoured imperial military spending.

Who is Tory leader? ›

Leader of the Conservative Party (UK)
Leader of the Conservative and Unionist Party
Logo for the Conservative Party
Incumbent Rishi Sunak since 24 October 2022
TypeParty leader
StatusChief executive officer
2 more rows

Was Winston Churchill a Tory? ›

Ideologically an adherent to economic liberalism and imperialism, he was for most of his career a member of the Conservative Party, which he led from 1940 to 1955. He was a member of the Liberal Party from 1904 to 1924.

What are the beliefs of the Conservative Party? ›

In its current platform, the Conservative Party states that its core objectives are to protect the lives and property of ordinary citizens, promote democratic accountability and reform the senate to make it a fully elected chamber.

What is the difference between red and blue Tory? ›

The Red Tory tradition remained loyal to the Progressive Conservatives, while many "blue" Tories aligned with social conservatives in the Reform Party.

Which political party has a red logo? ›

Labour Party (UK)
Labour Party
SloganBritain's future / Let's get Britain's future back (2024)
Anthem"The Red Flag"
Devolved or semi-autonomous branchesLondon Labour Scottish Labour Welsh Labour Labour Party in Northern Ireland
32 more rows

What are the colors of liberals? ›

Liberal Red is supported by 3 other shades of red. These are also paired with a number of greys to further compliment the red. These greys should be used for body text, colour-blocking, backgrounds, etc.

What was the difference between the Whigs and the Tories? ›

Early activists in the colonies called themselves Whigs, seeing themselves as in alliance with the political opposition in Britain, until they turned to independence and started emphasising the label Patriots. In contrast, the American Loyalists, who supported the monarchy, were consistently also referred to as Tories.

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