Laura Kuenssberg: Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer have more in common than you might think

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These mistakes are not his fault. But they are campaign mistakes nonetheless, giving the impression in these vital early stages that it’s all a bit of a mess.

What is also damaging are the departures of more and more Conservative MPs, including Michael Gove, who had been a prominent personal backer of Mr Sunak himself.

It’s impossible not to see the sheer numbers of Tory MPs departing as a reflection of the party’s prospects. There are whispers already about unhappiness in campaign HQ in its grand building tucked in behind Parliament Square, concern about a lack of experience in Mr Sunak’s team, and suggestions that some of the senior staffers are distracted by trying to find their own seats instead of focusing on the job they are there to do.

At Labour HQ on the other side of the Thames, it is a story of “so far, so good”. They didn’t know the election was coming on that particular day, yet their plan was conceived months back, just in case.

They had even done what looked like an election launch before it had been called, with Keir Starmer’s speech last week on the “first steps” he would take in government.

There have not yet been gaffes, dramas or campaign disasters, although it’s a long six weeks and they are highly likely to come. The test of a good campaign is what happens when things go wrong.

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