Sunak has gambled on election date knowing success under any definition is hard

Rishi Sunak has made the calculation that 4 July is, if not the best election date for the Conservatives, then the least worst.

Firstly, he thinks there is a story to tell on the economy - albeit one that is not without peril.

Britain is out of recession, while inflation today is statistically within "normal" levels.

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Secondly, it's likely a plane will possibly take off for the Rwanda within the election campaign. While this will be branded a success, it avoids the judgement on the true purpose of the policy - to stop the boats.

Thirdly, I understand it was no longer possible to have a budget or further fiscal statement after the big promise to increase military spending to 2.5% by 2030.

One Tory source told me that the moment they saw that, they knew there wouldn't be further tax cuts and an election would be sooner rather than later.

But more than that, there was a real - perhaps existential - question about how long Sunak could continue to hold it together.

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There are revolts in parliament looming - on abortion, on smoking and on shorter prison sentencing. This potentially avoids some of those.

He was also facing questions whether he would have to do a reshuffle after Chris Heaton Harris, Northern Ireland Secretary, announced his departure at the next election. Precedent that should have prompted a reshuffle - perhaps this has avoided that.

There are also claims - that might never be proved one way or another - that more and more Tories wanted him gone and he could have been tiptoeing closer to a vote of no confidence. Only Sir Graham Brady may know the truth of this.

All of that is now in the past. Sunak has gambled, knowing success under any definition is hard.