<div>British PM Sunak ‘fearful of losing seat’ as Conservatives face wipeout</div>

British PM Sunak ‘fearful of losing seat’ as Conservatives face wipeout

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Rishi Sunak’s party is facing an election wipeout and now the UK prime minister’s seat could even be at risk when voters go to the polls in a few hours’ time.

Voters are widely expected to vote in a Labour government for the first time since 2005, with the only question seemingly just how big will the majority be.

This election is likely to bring a scale of change Britain has not seen for decades if it delivers a big Labour majority and a diminished Conservative Party.

And the extent of the devastation likely to be suffered by the Tory party has been laid bare by reports today that Sunak has told close allies that he is fearful of losing his Yorkshire seat of Richmond and Northallerton.

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Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is struggling to hold on to his seat.

That would be an incredible turnaround for Sunak, who won the seat in 2019 with a majority of more than 27,000 votes. It would also make him the first sitting British leader to lose his seat.

“He is genuinely fearful of a defeat in Richmond,” a source told The Guardian. 

“The risk that it could be tight has hit him hard. He’s rattled – he can’t quite believe it’s coming so close.”

Portillo's shock defeat

The UK’s first-past-the-post system means politicians find out the result of their seat on stage in front of a watching crowd and millions more following on live TV.

Although the system has been criticised for ensuring the two major parties always dominate, there is no question it makes for incredible drama – most notably back in 1997 when defence secretary Michael Portillo lost the Enfield Southgate seat to Stephen Twigg as Tony Blair’s Labour swept to power.

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But defeat for Sunak would surpass even Portillo’s defeat. It is indicative of what has been a disastrous campaign for the Conservatives.

How bad could it be? Conservative Cabinet minister and Sunak ally Mel Stride said it looked like Labour was heading for an “extraordinary landslide”.

Labour warned against taking the election result for granted, imploring supporters not to grow complacent about polls that have given the party a solid double-digit lead since before the campaign began.

Labour leader Keir Starmer has led a solid if unspectacular campaign with its pledges to get the sluggish economy growing, invest in infrastructure and make Britain a “clean energy superpower.”

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Today's front page of the Sun, backing Starmer.

Today he earned the backing of the Rupert Murdoch-owned tabloid The Sun. Although traditionally the backing of the paper has been seen as a huge boost to a party’s fortunes, in reality, the influence of the coveted election day front page has waned considerably in recent decades.

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For the Conservatives, though, it has been a gaffe-driven campaign – from a rain-drenched Sunak launch to going home early from a D-Day 80th anniversary ceremony.

A number of Conservatives are also under investigation by gambling regulators over claims they used inside knowledge to bet on the date of the general election before it was announced.

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