NEW DELHI — Rishi Sunak said he is “fired up” and “entirely confident” he can win the next U.K. general election despite the opposition Labour Party’s commanding 18-point lead in the polls.
Speaking to reporters traveling with him to New Delhi for the G20 summit, Sunak said: “I am entirely confident that we can win the next election.”
Sunak took office last year after the chaotic and short-lived premiership of his Conservative predecessor Liz Truss.
His party is struggling to close the polling gap with Labour but, asked what his message was to Conservatives who have given up hope of winning, Sunak said: “I can tell you — certainly in Downing Street, we are fired up.”
“We’ve brought some new people in … that are joining the team because they believe that we will win — they are hungry to win, I am hungry to win, and they are fired up to deliver it.”
Sunak announced a shake-up of his Downing Street team last week, appointing former special adviser Jamie Njoku-Goodwin as head of strategy and Nerissa Chesterfield as director of communications.
“We’ve got plenty of time between now and the next election, I’m not complacent, there’s lots of work to do but I’m entirely confident we can deliver for people,” he added.
Sunak insisted that a surprise narrow Conservative victory in the Uxbridge and South Ruislip by-election over the summer demonstrated that his party could win when it mattered.
The campaign in that seat was focused on attacking a levy on polluting cars that was being rolled out in the area by London Mayor Sadiq Khan.
“In that by-election when voters were confronted with an actual choice between us and the Labour Party on an issue of substance, what did they do? They voted for us,” Sunak said.
“That’s what the autumn will be about, that’s what you’ll see from me, building on the foundations of the last eight months,” he added.