General Election 2024 LIVE: Devastating YouGov poll predicts Tories to fall to lowest MP tally in party's history

A devastating new poll predicts the Tories may return just 108 MPs on election night, handing Keir Starmer a huge victory and a majority of more than 200 MPs.

The latest poll by YouGov, of some 35,000 voters, sees Labour gaining 223 seats whereas the Tories would lose 257. It also predicts the Lib Dems to gain some 56 to a total of 67.

Jeremy Hunt, Penny Mordaunt and Alex Chalk could all lose their seats.

Earlier on Wednesday Rishi Sunak dismissed billionaires abandoning the Tories.

Appearing on an LBC phone-in on Wednesday morning, he was asked about Phones4U founder John Caudwell and Manchester United co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe throwing their weight behind Sir Keir Starmer's party.

The Prime Minister said: "They're two of Britain's richest men. They can probably afford Labour's tax rises."

It comes as new inflation figures handed Mr Sunak a pre-election boost, with the headline rate falling to 2% in May - down from 2.3% in April.

The Prime Minister has faced a turbulent election campaign so far, with the entrance of Nigel Farage as Reform Party leader in the election race widely feared within the Conservatives to be eating away at their vote share.

On Tuesday, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer refused to directly rule out council tax increases under a Labour government in a similar LBC phone-in.

The Labour leader said he has no plans to put more financial pressure on working people and vowed that income tax, national insurance and VAT would not rise if he becomes Prime Minister next month.

But pressed about a raid on council taxes, he declined to promise the same.

Lib Dems want Cabinet Office inquiry

Wednesday 19 June 2024 18:57 , Tom Davidson

Liberal Democrat deputy leader Daisy Cooper called for a Cabinet Office inquiry following the arrest of a police officer over alleged bets linked to the timing of the General Election.

Ms Cooper said: “Rishi Sunak must call a Cabinet Office inquiry into what is shaping up to be yet another scandal at the heart of Government.

“This stinks of yet more sleaze and answers are needed. An inquiry is needed to understand who knew what and when.”

IOPC statement on arrest

Wednesday 19 June 2024 18:46 , Tom Davidson

Watchdog the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said it will make a decision on the level of its involvement after a police constable working as part of the Prime Minister’s protection team was arrested over alleged bets made related to the timing of the General Election.

An IOPC spokesperson said: “We have received a mandatory referral from the Metropolitan Police Service and will make a decision on the level of IOPC involvement in due course.”

Met Police statement on arrest

Wednesday 19 June 2024 17:56 , Tom Davidson

In a statement, a Metropolitan Police spokesperson said: “We can confirm that on Friday, 14 June, the Met were contacted by the Gambling Commission who informed us that they were investigating alleged bets made by a police constable from the Met’s Royalty and Specialist Protection Command, which were related to the timing of the General Election.

“The matter was immediately referred to officers in the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards, who opened an investigation, and the officer was also removed from operational duties.

“The officer was subsequently arrested on Monday 17 June on suspicion of misconduct in public office. He was taken into custody and bailed pending further enquiries. The matter has also been referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct.

“The Gambling Commission continues to lead the investigation into the alleged betting offences, and our investigation is running in parallel to that.”

Rishi Sunak protection officer arrested over alleged bet on election date

Wednesday 19 June 2024 17:50 , Tom Davidson

A police constable working as part of the Prime Minsiter’s protection team has been arrested on suspicion of misconduct in a public office following an investigation into alleged bets related to the timing of the General Election, the Metropolitan Police said.

More to follow.

Jeremy Corbyn within touching distance of shock win in Islington North - new poll

Wednesday 19 June 2024 17:44 , Tom Davidson

The YouGov survey showed the race so close that it described it as a ‘toss up’ as to who wins.

Read our story here.

 (Lucy North/PA Wire)
(Lucy North/PA Wire)

How YouGov works out the poll results

Wednesday 19 June 2024 17:24 , Tom Davidson

YouGov used a technique known as MRP (multi-level regression and post-stratification) to model the outcome of the election in every constituency across Britain.

It said the estimated seat projections were based on modelled responses from 36,161 adults in England and Wales, and 3,818 in Scotland.

New YouGov poll makes grim reading for Tories

Wednesday 19 June 2024 17:03 , Tom Davidson

Oh dear.

This would be a catastrophic night for the Conservative Party were it to come true. A Labour landslide that would eclipse Tony Blair’s 1997 victory.

Lib Dem deputy visits ‘knife-edge’ constituency which Jeremy Hunt is contesting

Wednesday 19 June 2024 16:27 , Tom Davidson

Jeremy Hunt “has to go”, the Liberal Democrats’ deputy leader has said on the campaign trail in Surrey.

Daisy Cooper visited Farncombe in the Godalming and Ash constituency on Wednesday, where her party has launched a push to claim a high-profile scalp in the General Election on Thursday July 4.

The Conservative Chancellor has admitted he faces a “knife-edge” battle to win the new seat, created after a boundary review.

Read the full story here

George Galloway launches Workers Party manifesto, warns of ‘Armageddon’

Wednesday 19 June 2024 16:02 , Tom Davidson

George Galloway launched his party’s vision for Britain promising a brighter future while warning the world is edging closer to nuclear “Armageddon”.

Mr Galloway, leader of the Workers Party of Great Britain, presented his 34-page manifesto supported by a smattering of supporters and some of the 154 candidates standing for Westminster representing his party.

Described by Mr Galloway as a “very beautiful document” it includes chapters on redistribution, democratic reform and Palestine and referenced K-Pop and “creeping buro-fascism”.

Read the full story here.

Just Stop Oil are 'pathetic', says Sir Keir Starmer

Wednesday 19 June 2024 14:55 , Josh Salisbury

Keir Starmer has also joined Rishi Sunak in condemning Just Stop Oil’s vandalism of Stonehenge.

He said: "The damage done to Stonehenge is outrageous.

"Just Stop Oil are pathetic.

"Those responsible must face the full force of the law."

Sunak condemns Just Stop Oil Stonehenge protest

Wednesday 19 June 2024 13:42 , Josh Salisbury

Rishi Sunak has condemned the Just Stop Oil attack on Stonehenge.

Two Just Stop Oil protesters were arrested after spraying the historic monument in orange paint on Wednesday.

The Prime Minister said: "This is a disgraceful act of vandalism to one of the UK's and the world's oldest and most important monuments.

"Just Stop Oil should be ashamed of their activists, and they and anyone associated with them, including a certain Labour Party donor, should issue a condemnation of this shameful act immediately."

Sunak 'not familiar' with Covid amnesty call

Wednesday 19 June 2024 13:17 , Josh Salisbury

Rishi Sunak said he was "not familiar" with a former Tory minister's call for an amnesty for people convicted of Covid rule-breaking.

Asked whether he agreed with former justice secretary Sir Robert Buckland that the slate should be wiped clean for people sanctioned over breaches, he told reporters in East Anglia: "I'm not actually familiar with what Robert has said."

The comments were on the front page of the Telegraph newspaper.

Mr Sunak, who was fined for a Covid rule breach while serving as chancellor, said: "This election is about the future. Covid was a very difficult time for our country, right? And that was followed by a war in Ukraine ... this election is about how do we build going forward.

"When it comes to Covid, it's important we learn all the lessons of Covid and that's why we have a full public inquiry."

 (PA Wire)
(PA Wire)

Labour will put up taxes, says Sunak on Suffolk visit

Wednesday 19 June 2024 12:41 , Josh Salisbury

Rishi Sunak has claimed Labour wants to "whack taxes up for everyone".

The Prime Minister told broadcasters the fall in inflation to 2% was a "very positive step" that "shows that the plan we put in place is working".

On a visit to the Sizewell B nuclear power station, he said: "I said it was a priority to bring it down so that people can start now to feel an ease in the cost pressures that they've seen.

"And it's because that plan has worked that we've been able to start cutting people's taxes.

"This election is about the future, I want to build on this economic foundation that we now have and I want to keep cutting people's taxes at every stage in their lives.

"In contrast, Labour would reverse the progress that we've made and just whack taxes up for everyone, and I don't want to see that happen."

 (James Manning/PA Wire)
(James Manning/PA Wire)

Starmer: Public fed up with Tories saying things are alright

Wednesday 19 June 2024 11:48 , Josh Salisbury

Sir Keir Starmer said the public was "fed up" with the Government saying "everything is fine" with the economy after inflation fell to 2%.

He told broadcasters in Wiltshire: "Inflation is now down to where it was three years ago. That doesn't mean that for many people life's suddenly got easier.

"So, yes, it's back where it was three years ago, but that doesn't mean that prices are coming down, it doesn't mean that mortgages are coming down.

"If there's one thing that's been picked up on this campaign trail over and over again, it's people being fed up with the Government sort of saying, 'oh, you need to thank us now, we are turning a page, everything is fine'”.


SNP launches manifesto

Wednesday 19 June 2024 11:30 , Josh Salisbury

Away from Westminster, the Scottish National Party is launching its manifesto in Edinburgh.

The party has regularly criticised Labour for saying it would follow strict guidelines in dealing with the public finances, claiming that would lead to spending cuts.

Leader John Swinney said: "The SNP manifesto argues for new, sensible fiscal rules - rules that will:

"End the cuts, reverse the £1.3 billion cut to Scotland's capital budget and invest in public services, starting with the health service.

"We will join with progressive politicians south of the border to press for greater funding for the NHS and for the UK Government to match the pay deals we have given our health staff in Scotland."

The party would also table a "Keep the NHS in Public Hands Bill", he added, aiming to provide a "legal guarantee" that the health service remains in public hands.

 (Jane Barlow/PA Wire)
(Jane Barlow/PA Wire)

Labour 'could be in power for long time', concedes Hunt

Wednesday 19 June 2024 10:20 , Josh Salisbury

Labour could be on course to one of the largest majorities in history, Cabinet ministers have conceded.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said Sir Keir Starmer could extend the franchise to under-16s and EU citizens to entrench Labour in power.

Mr Hunt said: "I think when people go to the polls, they will reflect on the dangers of Labour having such a big majority and then changing the rules by giving votes to people at the age of 16, giving votes to EU citizens, so that they're here not just for a short time, for a very long time indeed.

"Compared to that, they will look at a Conservative government that hasn't got everything right but took difficult decisions having inherited an economy that had higher inflation than nearly any of our major competitors.”

SNP leader claims Farage will join Conservatives

Wednesday 19 June 2024 10:02 , Josh Salisbury

Scotland's First Minister has claimed Nigel Farage eventually becoming Conservative leader is a "likelihood".

Some commentators have touted the Reform UK leader as a potential candidate to succeed Rishi Sunak if the Prime Minister quits following the election and the long-time Brexiteer is elected to Parliament in the Clacton seat.

During his LBC phone-in, Mr Sunak declined to say whether Mr Farage would be welcomed into the party.

But Mr Farage has distanced himself from joining the Tories, saying: "I have no intention of being a member of the Conservative Party at any point."

Asked about it, SNP leader John Swinney said: "Yes, I think there is every possibility. I might even go as far as to say 'likelihood' that might be the case.

"I don't recognise the Conservative Party.”

Labour: We'll seek improvements to Brexit deal but no rejoining

Wednesday 19 June 2024 09:37 , Josh Salisbury

Labour’s shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves has said Labour would seek to "make changes" in "some areas" to the UK's relationship with the EU but would not rejoin if the party wins the election.

She told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "We're not going to go back into the EU, the Customs Union. Those are our red lines. So I never tend to think about Customs Union or free movement of labour.

"But I don't believe that the deal that Boris Johnson got is the best deal that we could have got or is in our best interest.

"So there are some areas where we do want to see reform.”

Sunak says he admires Starmer's work-life balance

Wednesday 19 June 2024 09:34 , Josh Salisbury

Asked what he admires about Keir Starmer, Rishi Sunak said he does a "very good job" of balancing family and work life.

He said: "I think, actually, when I hear him talk... these jobs all take a toll on everyone's family, and I think he does a very good job of balancing family life and work life and making sure that he prioritises that and makes time for it.

"And I think, when you hear him talk about that, that's a nice thing."

Sunak: I won't apologise for being fortunate in life

Wednesday 19 June 2024 09:13 , Josh Salisbury

In one of the final questions of the hour-long phone in, Mr Sunak was asked about being “richer than the King.”

He said he will not "apologise" for being "very fortunate in life".

"I'm very fortunate in my life. I have been, I'm not going to apologise for that," he said.

Presenter Nick Ferrari asked him about his apparently expensive taste in clothing.

"Not a single person has spoken to me about what I'm wearing," Mr Sunak said of the election campaign.

Chancellor faces 'knife edge' battle to keep seat

Wednesday 19 June 2024 09:09 , Josh Salisbury

Jeremy Hunt said he faces a "knife edge" battle to win his seat in the face of a Liberal Democrat push to claim a high-profile scalp on July 4.

The Chancellor is standing in Godalming and Ash, a seat with a notional Conservative majority of more than 10,000.

But he said the newly-created Surrey seat was "very marginal", while the Lib Dems view it as their opportunity for a "Portillo moment" on election night.

In a reference to then-cabinet minister Michael Portillo's election loss in 1997, Mr Hunt was asked whether he faced a new Portillo moment.

He told broadcasters: "This is a very marginal constituency. I've always treated it as a marginal constituency.”

 (PA Video/PA Wire)
(PA Video/PA Wire)

Sunak asked by terror victim's mother on Martyn's Law

Wednesday 19 June 2024 08:58 , Josh Salisbury

Mr Sunak is asked by Figen Murray, the mother of Martyn Hett who was killed in the Manchester Arena terrorist attack in 2017, about a new law to reduce the risk to the public from terrorism by the protection of public venues.

She asks why ‘Martyn’s Law’ has not been passed into law yet. Host Nick Ferarri asks whether he feels as if he has let Ms Murray down as a grieving mother.

Mr Sunak says he understands why she wanted the law introduced sooner in the last parliament, but that he wants to take the time to make sure the law works.

Caller accuses Sunak of being 'poundshop Farage'

Wednesday 19 June 2024 08:51 , Josh Salisbury

Mr Sunak is accused by caller Paul from Manchester of being a “poundshop Nigel Farage”.

The caller lists what he alleges are a series of failings by the Government against the LGBT+ community, saying it is stoking up a divisive culture war against trans people.

The PM responds: “I am very sorry to hear you’re feeling that way ... I don’t believe that at all, I care very much about making sure that people whatever their background are treated with sensitivity and compassion.”

Sunak: I am right on economy

Wednesday 19 June 2024 08:47 , Josh Salisbury

Mr Sunak is asked by Dan in Kent why people should trust he can win the election when he did not win a leadership bid against Liz Truss.

He says: “I was right in that Liz Truss election, and I am right on the economy now.”

He declines to say how he thinks the economy would be now if Truss had not won the leadership election.

PM says NHS waiting lists due to Covid

Wednesday 19 June 2024 08:44 , Josh Salisbury

Host Nick Ferarri is now asking Mr Sunak about NHS waiting lists - which is one of Mr Sunak’s five key pledges.

Mr Sunak says that he is “confident” that NHS waiting lists will go down, blaming Covid for a backlog.

“We had a pandemic which meant something like six million referrals that would’ve happened didn’t happen. And with the best will in the world, that’s not going to be resolved overnight,” he says.

Cancer patient tells Sunak of problems into the NHS

Wednesday 19 June 2024 08:39 , Josh Salisbury

The Prime Minister is asked by Theresa from Ladbroke Grove about the state of the NHS, saying the quality of care she has received for breast cancer “was horrible”.

She says her partner had better quality care for cancer a decade ago, who has since passed away.

“It’s frightening what’s happening in the National Health, and I want to know how you’re going to sort it out,” she asks.

Mr Sunak responds that he is sorry to hear about her situation and says that the Government has put more money into the NHS to get more oncologists.

Sunak grilled over Frank Hester donations

Wednesday 19 June 2024 08:31 , Josh Salisbury

Mr Sunak is asked about donations taken by the Conservatives from Frank Hester, who was alleged to have made inflammatory comments about Diane Abbott.

He insists the money could be taken, because Mr Hester apologised for the comments in question.

“I would also point out that Diane Abbott has also been readmitted into the Labour Party and she herself made some comments in the past that weren’t appropriate but she apologise for those and was readmitted back into the Labour Party after having the whip removed,” he says.

“Obviously in life there are degrees of things, but I think if you’ve made a mistake, you’ve honestly apologised for it and learned from it, I do think a society where forgiveness is something we can come together on is important.”

Sunak accused by caller of 'lying through your teeth'

Wednesday 19 June 2024 08:27 , Josh Salisbury

Caller Ellen from Bethnal Green asks how the Conservatives can say the country is better for young people after 14 years.

Mr Sunak points to a pledges on house building and reintroducing Help to Buy, which he says will help young people get on the housing ladder.

He is asked why no-fault evictions have not yet been banned.

“I am sorry we couldn’t get that done, it’s in our manifesto and we’ll get it done if re-elected”, he says.

However, Ellen says he is “lying through your teeth,” and that none of the issues she mentioned have improved.

Sunak: My daughters are 'excited' National Service

Wednesday 19 June 2024 08:23 , Josh Salisbury

Mr Sunak is asked by 17-year-old caller Aayagi why she should do National Service.

Mr Sunak is proposing mandatory National Service in either a military commission or a volunteering post.

He insists that his daughters are “excited” by the prospect, and talks up the benefits of the proposed scheme.

“It allows you to be part of something bigger than yourself, it gives you meaning and purpose in life, and you will learn a set of practical skills that will serve you will,” he says.

Sunak dodges question on merger with Reform

Wednesday 19 June 2024 08:19 , Josh Salisbury

Asked by caller Awad about the threat of Reform, Mr Sunak claims he is one of two people who is going to be Prime Minister, saying a vote for Nigel Farage is a vote for Labour.

He does not directly answer the caller’s question about whether Reform could enter or merge with the Conservatives after the election.

Former Home Secretary Suella Braverman has said the party should welcome Nigel Farage into the fold.

Pressed on Reform being ahead in some polls, Mr Sunak responds: “When people vote on July 4, they’re not voting on a set of polls, they’re voting based on who they think is the right person to lead our country.”

He adds that he is running against Reform, but refuses to say yes or not to whether he would welcome Farage into the fold.

Sunak: I'll serve five years as a backbencher

Wednesday 19 June 2024 08:14 , Josh Salisbury

Asked by caller Heidi whether he will serve a five term as a backbencher if elected as an MP, Mr Sunak insists he will.

It comes amid speculation from some critics that he intends to leave politics if he does not secure a majority on July 4.

Mr Sunak says: “Obviously, I have to win first and that’s up to my constituents in Richmond, but I very much hope that I have the chance to represent them for another Parliament and I love doing that job and of course I’ll do that.”

Sunak refuses to give campaign a rating

Wednesday 19 June 2024 08:11 , Josh Salisbury

Asked how many points out of ten he would give his campaign, Mr Sunak refuses to give it a rating.

He says: “That’s for the voters to judge on July 4. I’m focused on doing the best job I can, working as hard as a I can, talking to as many people as I can about the choice for the future.”

He is also asked about two major donors switching support from the Tories to Labour - John Cauldwell and Sir Jim Ratcliffe.

“They’re two of Britain’s richest men, they can probably afford Labour’s tax rises, but for tens of millions of people who are working really hard, they can’t,” he responds.

Sunak claims he is 'energised' by campaign

Wednesday 19 June 2024 08:08 , Josh Salisbury

Mr Sunak has taken his first question from the public - with a caller Amanda asking how well he thinks the campaign is going.

The PM says he is “really energised” to talk to the country about the choice at the election, claiming Labour will put up taxes.

He is pressed by host Nick Ferarri on the poor state of the polls, but responds: “The only poll that matters is the one on July 4.”

The caller Amanda says she does not think the campaign is going well, saying she is not enamoured by any of the campaigns on offer.

Sunak: Inflation fall is good news

Wednesday 19 June 2024 08:04 , Josh Salisbury

Rishi Sunak has begun taking questions on a live phone-in on LBC.

He is asked on the new inflation figures - and responds “it’s very good news”.

“We’ve stuck to the plan, taken action, and we’ve got inflation back to target”, he says, adding he wants to cut taxes.

Sunak: Inflation fall is great news

Wednesday 19 June 2024 07:50 , Josh Salisbury

Rishi Sunak said the fall in inflation was "great news" but warned that it could rise again if Labour won the General Election.

The Prime Minister said: "Great news this morning that inflation is back to normal at 2%. That's lower than Germany, France and America.

"When I became Prime Minister, inflation was at 11%. But we took bold action. We stuck to a clear plan and that's why the economy has now turned a corner.

“So, let's not put all that progress at risk with Labour. All they would do is spend a load of money, push up inflation and cost every working family £2,000 in higher taxes."

Labour has rejected the Tory claim that it is planning £2,000 of tax rises.

Boris Johnson 'campaigning for Conservatives', says Stride

Wednesday 19 June 2024 07:45 , Josh Salisbury

Boris Johnson is "clearly an asset" to the Tory General Election campaign, Mel Stride has claimed.

Mr Johnson has been filming videos for some candidates to give his backing, but has yet to appear on the campaign trail. According to his wife’s Instagram page, he has recently been holidaying in Italy as the election campaign is underway.

But the Work and Pensions Secretary told Sky News: "I think he is campaigning ... I mean, Boris is clearly an asset to the campaign, he clearly chosen to get involved and he's clearly urging people to vote Conservatives."

633,000 register to vote on final day

Wednesday 19 June 2024 07:27 , Josh Salisbury

Some 632,863 applications to register to vote were submitted on Tuesday, the last day before the deadline, Government figures show.

The number is just below the 659,666 applications that were submitted on the deadline day ahead of the 2019 general election.

More than 2.7 million applications to vote were submitted from May 23, the first full day after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called the General Election, to June 18.

Conservatives offering unfunded spending commitments, claims Reeves

Wednesday 19 June 2024 07:15 , Josh Salisbury

The fall in inflation is likely to be seized on by the Conservatives as a sign their economic plan is working.

It may even lead to the Bank of England cutting interest rates.

But Labour shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves said: "After 14 years of economic chaos under the Conservatives, working people are worse off.

"All the Conservatives are offering is a desperate wish list of unfunded spending promises that will mean £4,800 more on people's mortgages.”

The Tories have denied they have unfunded promises which could push up interest rates in the way Labour claims.

Inflation falls in boost for Sunak

Wednesday 19 June 2024 07:09 , Josh Salisbury

In a boost to Rishi Sunak, the rate of inflation has returned to the annual 2% target for the first time in nearly three years.

The Office for National Statistics said inflation fell to 2% in May from 2.3% in April.

It will come as good news to Mr Sunak, who made tackling inflation one of his five ‘key pledges’ to voters, alongside cutting NHS waiting lists and stopping small boat crossings.

The fall in the rate of inflation still means prices are rising, but at a lower rater than they were before.

Sunak to appear on LBC phone-in

Wednesday 19 June 2024 07:05 , Josh Salisbury

Good morning and welcome to our live coverage of today’s political developments. As a reminder, here are some of the things we’re expecting today:

- Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will appear on a phone-in on LBC from 8am. Mr Sunak will then be in Suffolk on a campaign visit.

- Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves to visit a supermarket in Wiltshire at around 9am

- The SNP will launch their manifesto in Edinburgh where leader John Swinney will be joined by candidates at 11am.

- The final number of those registered to vote will be published later today.