“This way the public only have to put up with us for five weeks or so, and then it’s all done and dusted, and the new government can crack on.”

North Swindon MP Justin Tomlinson says Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s decision to call an election for July 4 would save the public a “six-month long election campaign”.

With an election having to be held by the end of January questions as to the date were being asked of the PM more and more frequently, and Mr Tomlinson, who will soon be defending his seat in the redrawn and renamed Swindon North constituency, said  the  constant questioning and positioning of parties as the deadline approached would have become very unpopular with the public.

But in his Adver column this week, Mr Tomlinson did admit the announcement came as a surprise: “It’s very rare that something of this size is kept so secret. I’d had an intimation in the morning, so I was keeping an eye out.”

Much has been made by Westminster-based political journalists that some, possibly even many, Conservative MPs and their staffers are dismayed by Mr Sunak’s decision to call the election for July.

The commentators say some are upset because they had been told they were safe to book holidays in June and early July. Others are concerned that they may be out of a job earlier than they had anticipated and would also be losing a few months’ salary.

Some of the wilder claims even say that some rebel Conservative MPs are putting in letters of no confidence in Mr Sunak to engineer his removal as leader of the party.

Mr Tomlinson said there was no basis to that claim and said the timing of the election announcement made sense from the PM’s point of view.

He added: “From our perspective the economy is turning around, we are near record employment, inflation is returning to normal.

Mortgage rates are starting to fall and the impact of national insurance cuts, and the triple lock pension are being felt and we’ve had 10 months where wages have grown faster than inflation.

“So, the question is who do you trust with the economy? Us with our proven track record or Keir Starmer who has no plan and has broken every promise he made to become leader of the Labour Party, and will do so again.”

There are three other candidates declared for the Swindon North constituency: Labour’s Will Stone, Andy Bentley the Green party candidate and independent candidate Debbie Hicks.