Prime Minister Rishi Sunak calls a general election in July in the UK

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak calls a general election in July in the UK

(CNN) — UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Wednesday called for an early general election on July 4, as his Conservative party faces an uphill battle to prolong its 14-year existence in power.

Sunak was required to call an election before January 2025, and has long resisted calls to finalize his plans. But the fall in inflation rates, announced on Wednesday, helped prepare for the announcement, which will soon be announced at the gates of Downing Street.

The decision marks the start of a six-week campaign that, according to almost everyone, will end with the fall of Sunak's Conservative government.

The news will be welcomed by the opposition Labor Party, led by Keir Starmer, which is rising in the opinion polls and trying to present itself as a reformist and moderate group ready to take power.

Sunak is confident that a smart campaign can deliver transformative change, extending the tenure of a Conservative government that began in 2010 and has overseen the economics of austerity, Brexit, the Covid-19 pandemic and a cost-of-life crisis.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak speaks during the weekly Prime Minister's Question Time debate, in the House of Commons in London, England, on November 2, 2023. (Credit: Jessica Taylor/UK Parliament/Reuters)

He is the fifth Conservative leader to hold the post during that period, succeeding Liz Truss, whose disastrous term collapsed just six weeks after it began, exacerbating the UK's financial woes.

Sunak's party is likely to put its efforts to tackle illegal immigration at the heart of its campaign. A recent measure to deport some asylum seekers to Rwanda finally became law last month, and the first flights could depart during the campaign.

But Labor will seek to highlight the government's difficulties in mitigating rising prices, the state of Britain's exhausted health sector, and corruption scandals that have damaged the Conservatives' reputation among a wide segment of British voters.

Small parties can change the plans of the two dominant groups, although it is practically impossible for them to form a government again. The anti-immigration New Reform Party and the centrist Liberal Democrats will try to challenge Sunak in some of his party's historic strongholds, complicating his efforts to stay in power.

North of the border, the pro-independence Scottish National Party hopes to keep Labor at bay and regain its dominance of Scottish politics, despite a snap election. Difficult period And the recent ascension of its third leader in 15 months.

Boris Johnson's Conservative Party won a large majority in the last UK-wide vote, in December 2019, and promised to push for Brexit, an issue that has featured in the country's politics for more than three years.

But Johnson's leadership collapsed after a series of scandals, paving the way for his then finance minister, Sunak, to emerge as the front-runner for the leadership.

Opinion polls currently indicate results ranging from a comfortable victory for the Labor Party to a devastating electoral defeat for the Conservatives.

But recent election campaigns and referendums have proven volatile, and Conservatives, who still hold out public hopes for success, have indicated varying levels of enthusiasm for Labour's proposal.

Voting is scheduled to take place on Thursday, July 4, in all 650 British parliamentary constituencies, with the vote counting process taking place overnight, as parties attempt to exceed the 326 mark required to achieve a majority.

Once this mark is crossed, a government will be formed and take office immediately, pending the symbolic approval of King Charles III.

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