‘The Tories may be the underdog in this election - Rishi Sunak has steadied the ship,’ says George Eustice MP

Rishi Sunak and George Eustice in pictures

Rishi Sunak has steadied the ship, says George Eustice MP

George Eustice

By George Eustice

Published: 28/05/2024

- 19:55

Updated: 31/05/2024

- 14:04

George Eustice is the Conservative MP for Camborne and Redruth

General Elections are always gruelling for every political party, the candidates that stand for them and the advisers that keep the show on the road.

I have been involved in every election since 2005 and, whether we won or lost, each of them had its highs and lows and we were all glad when it was over.

While politics is always tough, during a General Election it is all out conflict.

It’s a highly charged news environment.

Small mistakes get blown out of proportion.

Things go wrong out on the road. When things do go wrong, the press is all over you like a pack of hyenas.

Candidates say unhelpful things.

Rishi Sunak announces General Election outside Downing Street

Rishi Sunak announced the General Election date in the pouring rain outside Downing Street


Plans have to be changed at the last minute to deal with emerging arguments.

Decision-making has to be very centralised and that puts immense pressure on those trying to keep it all together.

It is not just that it’s long hours but the stress of trying to put out fires every day is exhausting.

It affects both sides in equal measure whether they are up in the polls or down in the polls.

The first couple of days of this campaign saw the media preoccupied with the fact that it rained when the PM called the election, but such missteps were soon forgotten.

The battle moves on.

The most important thing for anyone running a campaign is to have a clear and consistent message and then to set aside all the noise and just execute their campaign plan.

When confronted with difficult decisions, they have to consider things carefully but then execute their decision in a timely way.

If that decision turns out to be the wrong call, they can’t afford to dwell on it.

Mistakes happen on the campaign trail and you just have to move on to the next day and the next set of issues.

If the headline polls are correct, then the Conservative Party goes into this election as the underdog but the Party has now developed a coherent set of headline messages which frames the choice in this election well.

They now just need to focus on delivering that campaign and try to set aside distractions.

Sometimes in an election, it can feel as though you are on the ropes at times, but good campaigns have the resilience to hang tough during such episodes and come out the other side fighting.

The Labour Party goes into this election feeling cocky but there are risks to them too.


They look like they are taking the voters for granted. They think they have it in the bag. They won’t say what they would do. Their body language is often sneering and tribal.

People don’t like that, and public sentiment can move in waves, as can the prevailing media narrative.

Rishi Sunak took on an incredibly challenging set of problems with geopolitical turbulence and the consequences and aftermath of the pandemic at home.

He has steadied the ship and has a plan that is delivering for the economy.

There is a long way to go in this particular General Election campaign and all parties will have their highs and lows. There is nothing inevitable in politics.

Time will tell what the people finally decide, but for now, the focus must be solely on delivering the message and executing the campaign.

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