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He tried to divert attention from the Conservatives' failures and strongly attacked his opponent, Rishi Sunak, in the first televised debate.

He tried to divert attention from the Conservatives' failures and strongly attacked his opponent, Rishi Sunak, in the first televised debate.

Interrupting each other's words, the leaders of the two largest British parties discussed, on Tuesday evening, the failures of fourteen years of conservative government and the vague plans of the Labor Party, which is the largest opposition force. Exactly one month before Britain's July 4 parliamentary election, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his Labor rival Keir Starmer clashed for the first time on ITV.

Before the debate, it was clear that Sunak was under greater pressure, with the Conservatives having been unable to reduce the deficit which is more than 20 per cent behind Labor since the election was announced a week and a half ago.

In the first televised debate of the campaign, the Conservative leader started strong. The Labor Party was accused of raising taxes by the equivalent of 1 million forints every year and skimming pensions.

“Tax rises are in Labour’s DNA,” Sunak said, promising that, unlike his opponent, he would cut taxes and protect pensions.

Starmer responded by saying that the Prime Minister's accusations were made up out of nothing. According to him, the Labor Party only wants to tax the wealthy and the big oil companies. In addition, the tax increases are necessary because the Conservative Party, led by former Prime Minister Liz Truss, caused the collapse of the British pound a year and a half ago.

Keir Starmer, leader of Labour's largest opposition party – Photograph: Jonathan Hurdle/ITV/Handout via Reuters

Sunak defended himself by saying that, in his opinion, this election should not be about the past, but about the future. According to him, the Labor Party has no concrete plans for the future. Starmer responded that British voters are complaining about the consequences of the last 14 years of Conservative rule, so it is not surprising that the Tory leader wants to divert attention from this matter.

Starmer's “last fourteen years” was a recurring item during the discussion. He accused the Conservative Party of undermining healthcare and education as well as the economy, and allowing illegal immigration to rise dramatically.

In addition, the Labor leader has regularly attacked Sunak by saying that he promises voters many things, but never explains how to get the money to them. Moreover, according to the Labor leader, the Conservatives have broken so many of their election promises in recent years that they can no longer be trusted.

To this, Sunak responded – with surprising aggression – by saying that Starmer was just complaining and accusing, but did not reveal how exactly he would solve the problems he complained about. An example of this is the situation of illegal immigrants, to which Starmer was unable to provide a clear answer to multiple questions.

Sunak also needed to be aggressive, because his party was performing so poorly in the opinion polls. the BBC compilation According to Starmer and Labor, they can count on 45% of the vote. On the other hand, the Conservatives have only 24%, so Sunakyuk must make up a huge deficit in the remaining month.

The YouGov poll was published on Monday reconnaissance According to him, if the elections were held now, the Labor Party would achieve the best electoral result in its history. According to the poll, Starmer could win the largest parliamentary majority in the past 100 years, even surpassing Tony Blair's landslide victory in 1997. On the other hand, the Conservatives may be exposed to an electoral blow they have not seen in nearly 120 years.

In the coming weeks, Sunak and Starmer will face off in front of Sky News and BBC viewers. In addition, the BBC and ITV will organize a debate between the leaders of England's seven major parties. We wrote more about the British election campaign here.

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