British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak calls for general election on 4th July

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Rishi Sunak

23rd May 2024 – (London) On Wednesday, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak revealed that the country will hold a general election on 4th July. Standing outside 10 Downing Street, Sunak informed the nation that he had spoken with the King to request the dissolution of parliament, which was granted. The ruling Conservative Party views the news positively, especially in light of the recently released figures showing a sharp drop in inflation to 2.3 per cent, the lowest level in nearly three years.

Halving inflation was one of Sunak’s five pledges made in January 2023, as the rate had exceeded 11 per cent at the end of 2022. Regarding the latest data, the prime minister described it as a “major moment for the economy” and expressed optimism about brighter days ahead.

Despite the Conservatives’ 14-year tenure, they have faced challenges in recent years, including sluggish economic growth and political instability, evident through frequent changes in party leadership. The most recent YouGov polls indicate the Tories trailing behind their main rival, the Labour Party.

Labour leader Keir Starmer welcomed Sunak’s call for a summer snap election, emphasizing that it is a moment the country has been waiting for. Starmer urged the public to take control of the nation’s future, stating that together, they can bring an end to chaos and rebuild a better Britain.

Ed Davey, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, criticised the current government, stating that it is out of touch, time, and excuses. He called for a change in leadership.

Following Sunak’s announcement, Buckingham Palace released a statement confirming that the Royal Family will postpone engagements that may divert attention from the election campaign, adhering to standard procedure.

The British parliament will be officially dissolved on 30th May, after which the election campaign will commence until polling day on 4th July.

Experts have weighed in on the upcoming election. Professor John Bryson from the University of Birmingham noted that the government can argue that the country’s economy is heading in the right direction and now is not the time for a change in strategy. However, Professor Iain Begg from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) highlighted that the Conservative Party remains behind in the opinion polls, and the Labour Party’s narrative of “time for a change” resonates with voters. Professor Jon Tonge of the University of Liverpool deemed the decision to call for an election as extraordinary.