In the final days before the UK election, Rishi Sunak insists that he can stay in power

LONDON (AP) — U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Sunday dismissed suggestions that his party was headed to defeat in the July 4 general election, using one of his final televised appearances to defend the Conservatives’ record on the economy.

Sunak told the BBC that he believed he’d still be in power by the end of the week, despite opinion polls that have found the Conservatives trailing far behind the opposition Labour Party of Keir Starmer.

“I’m fighting very hard," Sunak said. “And I think people are waking up to the real danger of what a Labour government means.”

While he acknowledged that the last few years “had been difficult for everyone,’’ Sunak declared it was “completely and utterly wrong” to suggest that Britain's place in the world has diminished since Brexit.

“It’s entirely wrong, this kind of declinist narrative that people have of the U.K. I wholeheartedly reject,” he said. “It (the U.K.) is a better place to live than it was in 2010.’’

After 14 years of Conservative-led governments, many voters blame the party for Britain’s cost-of-living crisis, long waiting lists for health care, high levels of immigration and the dislocations caused by Britain's departure from the European Union.

Sunak, who became prime minister in October 2022, has tried to silence his critics by arguing that his policies have begun to solve those problems and warning that Starmer, the Labour leader, would raise taxes if his party wins the election.