Jeremy Hunt Hints at October General Election

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has suggested that a general election could potentially be held in October.

Speaking before a Lords Committee, he emphasized the necessity of completing the government’s next spending review before April of the following year, indicating that “if the general election is in October, that will mean it’s very, very tight.”

The latest permissible date for an election under current law is 28 January 2025. However, Prime Minister’s “working assumption” leans towards holding one in the latter half of this year. Last week, Rishi Sunak dismissed the possibility of polling day coinciding with the already scheduled local elections on 2 May.

Addressing the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee, Mr. Hunt also expressed hopes for another “fiscal event” within this parliamentary term, which concludes in January. Fiscal events typically involve statements outlining tax and spending decisions, such as the Budget and Autumn Statement.

“I can be quite open with you and say I hope I do another fiscal event this parliament and indeed return as chancellor after the general election and do a spring Budget,” he remarked.

Highlighting the urgency of completing the next spending review, crucial for determining public service expenditure, Hunt stressed that it must be finalized before April. He acknowledged the tight timeline, particularly if a general election were to take place in October, underscoring the importance of addressing productivity elements in advance.

While general elections in the UK are scheduled every five years, Mr. Sunak retains the authority to call one earlier if deemed necessary. With the Conservatives currently trailing behind Labour in polls, opposition parties accuse the Prime Minister of avoiding an early election.

During this month’s spring Budget, the chancellor announced a further 2p reduction to National Insurance for workers, aligning with last year’s tax cut outlined in the Autumn Statement. However, there is growing pressure from some Tory MPs for additional tax reductions, which could be unveiled in another fiscal event preceding the election.