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Great Britain: Sunak calls general election for July 4

Great Britain: Sunak calls general election for July 4

As of: May 22, 2024 8:03 pm

For months, the British opposition has pushed for the general election to be brought forward and accused the prime minister of delaying tactics. Sunak has now called for an election on July 4 – despite his party trailing significantly in the polls.

Britain's Conservative Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has set the general election date for July 4. “Now is the time for Britain to choose its future,” the 44-year-old said. A conservative government led by him will stabilize the economy, the head of government continued.

He was with King Charles III. To demand the dissolution of Parliament, Sunak said. “The king has accepted this request.” The upcoming election gives Britons a chance to “choose their future”. Labour's opposition leader Keir Starmer spoke of the “opportunity for positive change”.

Sunak also called a cabinet meeting, and Foreign Secretary David Cameron returned early from a trip to Albania.

In Great Britain, elections are held every five years. So general elections should be held by January 2025 at the latest. However, the exact time is at the Prime Minister's discretion because, unlike in Germany, in the United Kingdom the Head of Government can decide the date as freely as possible within a generous period. He must give at least 25 working days prior notice. Sunak has already said several times that he aims for a meeting before the end of the current year.

Tories under pressure

The British Prime Minister delivered his speech in the pouring rain on London's Downing Street and was interrupted by demonstrators. According to a report by the AP news agency, they played “Things Can Only Get Better”, a Labor campaign song from former prime minister Tony Blair, over loudspeakers.

Sunak said that uncertain times require a clear plan and bold action. He has this plan – in contrast to the opposition Labor Party. However, according to the polls, the Social Democrats are leading the Tories by around 20 percentage points. Conservatives fear a bitter defeat at the polls. The Tories have been in power since 2010. Sunak has been in office since October 2022 and is already the third head of government since the previous election in 2019, after Boris Johnson and Liz Truss.

Economic data Recently updated

Opposition parties have been pressing Sunak to set the election date for months. He alleged that he was delaying the election date as much as possible considering the poor vote count. Despite several announcements and recently improved economic data, Sunak's Conservatives have so far failed to close the gap on Labor.

Most recently, they lost hundreds of seats and a key mayoralty in local elections in England, as well as a constituency in North West England in a parliamentary by-election. The right-wing populist Reform UK Party, the former Brexit party, is putting more pressure on the Tories.