Elections are likely to be held on July 4 in the United Kingdom

Elections are likely to be held on July 4 in the United Kingdom

British Conservative Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Wednesday (22) announced general elections in the United Kingdom on July 4. Opinion polls indicate a clear lead for the opposition Labor party, which could return to power after 14 years.

“I have spoken to His Majesty the King and asked him to dissolve Parliament. His Majesty has agreed and there will be a general election on July 4,” Sunak said outside his official residence in Downing Street.

The announcement ended months of speculation that had earlier suggested elections would be held later in the year. Originally, elections were scheduled by the end of January 2025, until then, Sunak only mentioned the possibility of elections in the “second half” of this year.

Surveys indicate that Keir Starmer's Labor Party (centre-left) has significant advantages over the Conservatives, who have been in power since 2010 (20% to 25%), with around 45% of the vote.

“In the coming days, I will fight for every vote to earn your trust. I will demonstrate that only a Conservative government led by me capable of protecting our hard-earned economic stability can restore our country's pride and confidence,” Sunak said.

Starmer, for his part, described the general election as an “opportunity for positive change”.

“We can leave the mess behind, turn the page and start rebuilding the United Kingdom and making a difference in our country,” he added.

The Conservatives must overcome 14 years of government attrition, the turmoil of the Brexit vote and a turnaround of five prime ministers in eight years.

Otherwise, Downing Street's next occupant is Starmer, a 61-year-old retired lawyer. He brought Labor closer to the centre, succeeding Jeremy Corbyn as party leader four years ago, the most left-wing name, but it suffered a severe setback in the 2019 general election.

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The Conservatives suffered their worst defeat in 40 years in local elections earlier this month, culminating in Labor victories in London (with Mayor Sadiq Khan re-elected) and other major cities such as Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds and Sheffield. Sunak's position is further weakened by Tory infighting.

* With AFP

Editing: Rodrigo Durão Coelho

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