Episode 43: Three Old Hacks on the general election

The past week has seen things go from bad to worse for Rishi Sunak, being called out for lying in the debate against Keir Starmer on the claim that Labour would increase taxes by £2,000 per household, then being accused of a lack of respect for coming home early from the D-Day celebrations, for which he has apologised.

He cancelled media interviews at the weekend as support for the Conservatives dipped even further in the polls, with a clear 22% gap between Labour and the Tories, and Reform picking up support after the announcement from Nigel Farage that he would after all be standing as its leader.

Also this week we hear from pollsters Techne UK that Britain is heading for the lowest general election turnout in modern history, reflecting mass apathy, particularly amongst young people, fed by a general mistrust of politicians.

David Smith, Economics Editor of the Sunday Times for over 30 years, records the Three Old Hacks podcast with fellow journalists Mihir Bose and Nigel Dudley, for The Chiswick Calendar. They have decades of experience and knowledge of election tactics, having been in the thick of reporting it all since the 1980s.

“What makes me quite … angry about this is that Sunak knows completely it’s wrong”, says David. “He knows enough about the numbers to know this is not a way you should present any figures of this sort, and yet still says it and denies he’s lying.”

In this week’s Three Old Hacks podcast,  David unpicks the figures and explains exactly why it was wrong for Sunak to have made the claim, and for Penny Mordaunt to have repeated it in the second TV debate. If you used the same misleading methodology on the Conservatives’ claims, says David, you would cost their policies at £3,000 per household.

Listen to the podcast on all the usual podcast platforms or on The Chiswick Calendar website.

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