UNISON opinion: PM should call an immediate general election

Voters in council elections have deserted the Conservatives over their party’s failure to properly fund local services

Christina McAnea

By UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea

The Westminster government’s plummeting popularity was made clear in almost every ballot box last Thursday.

Divisive politics were rejected in our cities and towns, and voters in council elections deserted the Conservatives over their party’s failure to properly fund local services.

Labour achieved some stunning victories, but has also acknowledged there’s plenty of work to do to ahead of the general election.

The prime minister did get to celebrate holding onto the Tees Valley mayoralty, but the swing against the Conservatives there was massive.

After all the results were finally in, we heard some bizarre lines from Rishi Sunak. He claims the “plan is working”, but that’s clearly not what the public are feeling. He says he is determined to “fight the Labour Party”, but he’s missing the point and signalling everything that’s wrong with his leadership and government.

If he truly cared about the British people, he would call an immediate general election and a halt to all this suffering. He would admit that the game is up.

Instead, he is inward looking, out of touch and living in a different economic reality to working people.

Political choices have resulted in over a decade of decline in our public services, and voters are sick of it. They’re sick of the scandal and sleaze that keeps seeping out of Westminster, and they want a government that’s focused on delivering decent living standards. 

That shouldn’t be too much to ask of their government. In fact, it’s the very basics of serving your country. But this prime minister is only interested in serving his party.

The Conservatives have messed with our public services for 14 years, and this has messed with people’s lives. Too many working people and their families have been deeply, detrimentally affected. And when the general election comes, I hope voters won’t put their trust in them again. A party that consistently turns its back on working people should never be given the honour to serve its country.