Dominic Raab defends Conservative performance in the polls
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Speaking to Kay Burley on Sky News, the deputy Prime Minister refuted claims that the polls predict trouble for the Tories in the upcoming elections. He said that national polls had the party “closing the gap with Labour”, before launching into a set of reasons why they must “focus on the people’s priorities” to ensure they continue closing that gap.
Ms Burley said: “Well the door is certainly open for much in-house fighting, certainly if you lose the two by-elections that are coming up in just a couple of weeks’ time.
“You’ll say in response to that because I’ve spoken to you a lot, let’s wait and see.
“But looking at the polls, it’s disastrous for you, especially in Wakefield.”
Mr Raab responded: “Well actually, I noticed that in one of the latest polls that came out over the last 24 hours, national polls rather than by-election polls, had us closing the gap with Labour.
“So what I would say is if we want to continue to do that, in relation to by-elections but also what will ultimately matter is the general election, then we need to get on the front foot.
“We need to focus on the people’s priorities, come together, deliver deliver deliver on our agenda, from the cost of living to the crime-fighting agenda to the levelling up agenda.
“And that’s very simple and straightforward, but that is the recipe for success.
“I believe it’s a positive agenda that brings the country together, but also my peers in the Conservative Party together as well, and we should be relentlessly focused on that.”
Boris Johnson will meet his Cabinet later today as he seeks to stabilise his Government and move beyond the confidence vote.
He insisted he had secured a “decisive” victory despite 148 of his own MPs voting to oust him on Monday night, arguing the Government could now “move on” and focus on what “really matters to people”.
He also poured cold water on the prospect of a snap election, saying he was “certainly not interested” in the idea.
The scale of the revolt against Mr Johnson’s leadership has left him vulnerable though, and he could suffer further blows in two key by-elections in Wakefield and Tiverton and Honiton on June 23.
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Labour could record a 20-point lead over the Tories in the Wakefield by-election in several weeks, the latest polls suggested over the weekend.
A survey by JL Partners put Labour on 48 percent and the Tories on 28 percent, down by 19 points.
Wakefield was consistently a Labour safe seat until the post-Brexit general election of 2019, where the Tories overcame the Red Wall and took seats such as Wakefield.
It is scheduled to go to the polls on June 23 to elect a new MP after former Tory incumbent Imran Ahmad Khan was found guilty in April of sexually assaulting a boy.
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