Rishi Sunak is nearing victory on rail strikes – but failure on nurses will humiliate him | Politics | News

In just six weeks, Rishi Sunak has caved on his housing agenda after backlash and U-turned on the building of onshore wind farms. But on strikes, the Prime Minister seems determined to hold his nerve.

Having staked his reputation on being a steady hand with the economy he keeps repeatedly emphasising that giving in to union demands would prolong the country’s inflation crisis.

Instead, he has painted the trade unions organising the industrial action as the enemies of ordinary hard-working Britons, blaming them for causing chaos up and down the country.

On rail strikes, this looks like a winning strategy.

But the Prime Minister looks set to be left with no choice but to make another humiliating climb down.

Fresh polling out from YouGov today indicates 49 percent of the British public is opposed to Mick Lynch’s mob wreaking repeated havoc on the UK’s railway lines with his pay demands.

Better still for Mr Sunak, over a third (39 percent) blame the trade unions out of the workers for the chaos the industrial action is causing.

The dispute gives the Prime Minister the opportunity to play the hero, holding out against the unthinkable demands of Mr Lynch and the RMT holding the country to ransom.

But the polling on nurses’ strikes should worry the incumbent of No10.

Of the 1,758 adults surveyed between December 16 and 19, two-thirds (66 percent) support the walkout by nurses, with similar support for ambulance staff (63 percent).

And on this one, there is a clear majority as to who the British public believe is to blame.

In total 56 percent of Britons believe the Government is responsible for the nursing strike with less than one in five (19 percent) blaming the unions.

Conservative backbenchers – and even some ministers – are also thought to have sympathy with the medical profession.

Mr Sunak looks isolated in his strategy for handling the walkout from nurses.

Holding firm against Mr Lynch may give him a much-needed win near the start of his premiership, but he will be damaged if he is forced to fold to the nursing unions.

And fold he undoubtedly will.

When even your own ministers are refusing to back your position behind closed doors; what hope is there of success?

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