Sunak and Starmer Launch Campaigns as Snap Election Called for July 4

Sunak and Starmer Launch Campaigns as Snap Election Called for July 4

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Labour Party leader Keir Starmer are set to formally launch their election campaigns on Thursday, following Sunak's unexpected announcement of a July 4 vote.

This decision ended speculation about a potential October or November election, and Sunak used a rain-soaked address to kick off what is expected to be a six-week campaign frenzy.

With the Conservative Party trailing Labour by about 20 percentage points in opinion polls, both leaders will be campaigning vigorously, aiming to secure enough seats in parliament to form a majority government by July 5.

The election will determine control of the world's sixth largest economy, which has faced low growth, high inflation, the ongoing impact of Brexit, and recovery from COVID-19 and the Ukraine war-induced energy price spike. Consequently, the economy is a crucial electoral issue.

Sunak, 44, announced the election just as inflation neared the target, emphasizing his economic plan's effectiveness and portraying himself as the candidate capable of turning stability into widespread recovery.

"Who do you trust to turn that foundation into a secure future for you, your family, and our country?" he asked at a Wednesday rally, positioning Labour as lacking a clear plan. He advocated for a renewed confidence in Britain, fair rewards for hard work, and opportunities for future generations.

Starmer, a 61-year-old former lawyer who has shifted Labour back to the center after a period of unsuccessful left-wing leadership, presents Labour as the party of change for a frustrated electorate. "Labour will stop the chaos, turn the page and get Britain's future back," he told party members, describing the election as "the fight of our lives." He urged unity to defeat the Conservatives and bring about a better Britain.

A Labour victory would end 14 years of Conservative rule, marking the first time since the 1830s that Britain, previously known for its political stability, would have had six prime ministers in eight years.

Meanwhile, parliamentary activity is expected to intensify as the government decides which pending legislation to expedite and which to drop. This includes Sunak's proposal for stringent anti-smoking laws that would ban anyone aged 15 and under from ever buying cigarettes.

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