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Britain's prime minister calls snap election for July 4

Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak speaks to the media outside 10 Downing Street in London, May 22, 2024.
Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak speaks to the media outside 10 Downing Street in London, May 22, 2024.

Britain’s prime minister called Wednesday for a snap general election on July 4.

“Now is the moment for Britain to choose its future,” Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said, standing outside 10 Downing Street.

Political analysts believe the Labour Party, led by Keir Starmer, a former chief prosecutor for England and Wales, will likely be the voters’ choice as Labour has led in polls for more than a year.

The ruling Conservatives have been in office for 14 years.

British elections are held no more than five years apart. The prime minister is free to call for an election anytime within that time frame. There had been speculation recently that Sunak would call for a snap vote because of the prospect of a good economic forecast.

Sunak made the announcement on the same day that Britain reported inflation had fallen 2.3%.

"Brighter days are ahead,” Sunak said, “but only if we stick to the plan to improve economic security and opportunity for everyone."

It will be up to the voters to decide whether the promise of brighter days overshadows other pressing issues Britain faces under Conservative leadership, including long waiting times for citizens to see health care providers at the state-run National Health Service and how to stop or slow the flow of migrants crossing the English Channel.

Sunak seems set to go ahead with the controversial remedy for the migrant issue — deport the asylum-seekers to Rwanda, which has resulted in a global human rights uproar and a slate of legal challenges.

At stake in the upcoming vote are all 650 five-year seats in the House of Commons. The party with the most votes will rule alone or in coalition.

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