UK PM Sunak Announces Snap General Election on July 4 

Rishi Sunak, the prime minister of the UK, has called for a snap general election that will be held on July 4, a move that many have warned will be the end to his time in power and that of his Conservative Party

In a statement he gave outside Downing Street on Wednesday night, Sunak said that he informed King Charles III of the summer poll, which is quite rare. That kicked off what is sure to be a tense campaign of only six weeks as his party tries to extend its power for more than the 14 years it currently has.

As he said on Wednesday:

“Now is the moment for Britain to choose its future.”

He then attacked his opponents, the Labour Party, saying that Britain would “risk going back to square one” if they voted for them. He also admitted, though, that, “I cannot and will not claim that we have got everything right.”

Sunak had to hold the vote by January of next year, but he has long resisted calls to release specifics about what his plan was. But, with the news coming earlier in the day that inflation rates had fallen, the prime minister felt the time was now.

The Labour Party, which Keir Starmer leads, is certainly welcoming the decision, as the party has soared in recent opinion polls. Starmer has sought to position his party as a moderate and reformed group that’s ready to take over.

Once the announcement was made, the British royal family announced that it would postpone engagements “which may appear to divert attention or distract from the election campaign.”

Previously-planned D-D memorial engagements in June that the King and Queen are to host will go ahead as scheduled, though.

In his Wednesday speech, Sunak alluded to external factors including the war in Ukraine as well as COVID-19 as the reasons why Britain’s economy is struggling. He said those two factors combined represented “the most challenging times since the Second World War.”

Starmer responded rather quickly to the announcement Sunak made. At a news conference, he said:

“Tonight the prime minister has finally announced the next general election. … [The vote is a] chance to change for the better — your future, your community, your country.”

He continued:

“It will feel like a long campaign, I’m sure of that, but no matter what else is said and done, that opportunity for change is what this election is about.”

The Labour Party begins this summer campaign roughly 20 points ahead in the average poll. In fact, the Tories often find themselves closer in polls to third-party challengers like the Liberal Democrats and Reform than they are to the Labour Party.

Sunak’s party is likely to center its campaign around what it’s done to tackle illegal migration head on. 

The Labour Party will likely counter that by highlighting how the government has struggled to ease prices, which have soared, as well as the healthcare system in the country, which is over-stretched.