Defence secretary says Tories are the ‘underdogs’ with weeks to go until General Election

17 June 2024, 09:16

Mr Shapps told LBC the Tories are 'underdogs'
Mr Shapps told LBC the Tories are 'underdogs'. Picture: LBC

By Asher McShane

Defence secretary Grant Shapps told LBC today that the Conservatives are the ‘underdogs’ heading into the General Election.

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With just weeks to go until the nation votes, Mr Shapps issued a warning about "unchecked power" if Labour wins a large majority.

Mr Shapps also said he understands the frustrations felt by those considering voting Reform UK, but said a vote for Reform would give Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer "unchecked power".

Mr Shapps said: "I think there's a sense of frustration out there and I get that entirely. But I think in the end, there are only two people who can be in Downing Street, it's either Rishi Sunak or it's Keir Starmer.

Read more: Global confirms biggest ever Election coverage plans with Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer to take listeners' calls

Read more: Labour's net zero black hole? Tories accuse Starmer of £4.5bn budget shortfall as tax hikes loom

Grant Shapps: 'I accept we are the underdog'

"And if you vote Reform, or Lib Dem, or any other direction for that matter, that simply helps Keir Starmer go in with unchecked power to do things like release all the people who've already been rounded up to be deported, which is exactly the opposite to what a lot of Reform voters would want."

When questioned on polls continuing to show a Conservative defeat, Mr Shapps pointed to previous polls which suggested Britain would remain in the European Union and former prime minister Theresa May would increase her majority.

He added: "Polls have a history of showing a snapshot in time, which isn't necessarily the time when the vote happens."

Tactical voting recommendations have been offered in more than 450 constituencies by campaigners hoping to unseat a series of high-profile Conservatives.

Best For Britain, which is behind the GetVoting campaign, said its recommendations have been made in a bid to deal the "heaviest possible electoral defeat for the Government, to keep them out of power for a decade and to avoid the election of Reform UK MPs".

They have recommended Labour in 370 seats, Liberal Democrats in 69, the Green Party in three, the SNP in seven and Plaid Cymru in two.

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