Tories could turn things around with ‘President Rishi’ strategy

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's five key promises

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Rishi Sunak could help turn around current poor polling and help the Conservatives the next general election by putting himself at the centre of the next general election campaign, a former Number 10 pollster has argued. Writing in The Daily Telegraph, James Johnson argued that the PM’s “President Rishi” strategy will differentiate him from other political leaders and assure voters he will get things done.

He said: “Welcome to “President Rishi”.

“On Wednesday, the Prime Minister put himself at the forefront of the Conservatives’ next election bid.

“One could see the fledgling campaign already – I am not like the others.

“I will not promise you the world, but will get things done.

“It is an approach voters have been crying out for.

“The biggest criticism of politicians in my focus groups is not that they are incompetent or malign, but that they never simply tell the public how it is.”

Mr Johnson argued that Mr Sunak’s five promises to reduce inflation, boost growth, reduce national debt and NHS waiting lists and stop small migrant boats will chime well with working class voters over 40 who decisively swung behind the Conservatives in 2019.

He said: “The fight now is not for millennials who stopped voting Tory after Brexit.

“Labour has made more inroads with Leavers since 2019 than Remain voters.

“It is working class voters – usually over the age of 40 – who were so crucial to the Conservative majority in 2019.

“With immigration one of the top issues for them, pledging to stop the migrant Channel crossings will appeal.

“Waiting lists are a universal issue, but speak most to those over 65 who prioritise the NHS above even the cost of living.

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“The language around the importance of family and community strikes right to the heart of small-c conservative Britain.”

Mr Johnson added that despite Labour’s large polling lead, some swing voters are still hesitant about Sir Keir Starmer, believing that he is insincere.

A poll earlier this week showed that Mr Sunak is the preferred leader over Sir Keir, illustrating according to Mr Johnson, the wisdom of a “President Rishi” strategy.

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