The next prime minister is expected to tell Tory party strategists to prepare for a snap election next year, according to reports.
Voting closed yesterday in the race to succeed Boris Johnson, with the winner to be announced on Monday.
A source told the newspaper that an election after October is ‘waiting for something good to turn up but it won’t and you have run out of road.’
The next general election is not expected until 2024 – and could be held as late as January 2025.
Liz Truss, the frontrunner in the Tory leadership contest, would be limited to four or five options for going to the polls
Speaking as voting closed at 5pm, the Foreign Secretary said she believed ‘in a brighter and better future for Britain’.
She declared: ‘If I am elected prime minister, I will never let anyone talk us down and I will do everything in my power to make sure our great nation succeeds.’
She said it had been ‘fantastic’ speaking to thousands of Tory members during the six-week campaign.
‘I have a bold plan that will grow our economy and deliver higher wages, more security for families and world-class public services,’ she added.
‘I’ll do this by cutting taxes, pushing through supply-side reform [measures to improve productivity and competition] and slashing red tape that is holding businesses back.’
It comes as the Tories could be locked out of power for a generation under controversial ‘coalition of chaos’ plans expected to be backed by Labour this autumn.
Conservative election planners privately raised fears that Starmer’s party will next month finally approve plans to scrap Britain’s historic first-past-the-post (FPTP) voting system and replace it with ‘coalition-friendly’ proportional representation (PR).
She is expected to thrash the party into shape for an autumn poll on October 5, 2023, against Keir Starmer and block his path to forming a ‘coalition of chaos’
This follows the decision by two of Labour’s powerful trade union backers to support electoral reform.
Last night, Tory MPs warned that the move would be a sop to Sir Keir’s likely Liberal Democrat partners in a weak coalition government.
One, Richard Holden, said: ‘Sir Keir Starmer knows Labour could never win a majority under his lacklustre leadership and Labour’s union paymasters know it too.
‘That’s why they are calling for unity with the Lib Dems to change the rules so that Labour can sneak in, propped up by the Lib Dems and SNP, via the back door.’
Tory MP Richard Holden, said: ‘Sir Keir Starmer knows Labour could never win a majority under his lacklustre leadership and Labour’s union paymasters know it too.
He added: ‘Rather than trying to fiddle with Britain’s democratic system, the public would rather Labour and the unions concentrated on preventing strike action that cripples our public services.’
However, Tory fears over PR will embolden Labour activists who are pushing for their party’s annual conference next month to vote to include a switch to proportional representation in Labour’s next General Election manifesto.
The move follows a similar motion at last year’s conference which only failed to pass after opposition from the unions.
But barely one month later, Unite – Labour’s biggest donor – changed tack and voted to back PR in Westminster elections for the first time in the union’s history.
That was followed this June by another major union, Unison, voting for PR amid claims that its members were sick of Westminster’s ‘distorting FPTP voting system’.
Since then, Andy Burnham – Labour mayor of Greater Manchester and a potential successor to Sir Keir – has called for the party to endorse the controversial voting switch.
Mr Burnham called on Sir Keir to ‘seize the moment’, though denied he was arguing for any form of electoral pact with other parties.
Conservative election planners raised fears that Sir Keir Starmer’s party will next month finally approve plans to scrap Britain’s historic first-past-the-post (FPTP) voting system. Pictured: Labour Party leader Keir Starmer looks at the heat pump units on the roof of a housing development in Walthamstow
Andy Burnham (front right) – Labour mayor of Greater Manchester and a potential successor to Sir Keir – has called for the party to endorse the controversial voting switch
Earlier this summer, the Labour leader himself said he understood how many party members feel very strongly about PR – not least as he joined the party in East Surrey, where ‘every time you vote Labour, the vote doesn’t really count for anything’.
But he pointed to the importance of the ‘link to a constituency’ under the current system in which every MP was elected by and answerable to voters in a specific area.
Under a draft motion for next month’s conference, the Labour For A New Democracy campaign calls on the next Labour government ‘during its first term in office’ to scrap the ‘rotten electoral system which consistently hands power to a Conservative minority’.
However, Tory critics say it would simply lead to weak coalition governments where, after each Election, political parties would haggle over who to share power with.
Labour sources stressed that a party conference vote would not bind Sir Keir as to what went in Labour’s next manifesto.