British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has asked Queen Elizabeth to dissolve Parliament so a general election can be held May 6. The election looks to be a close fight.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown made the long expected announcement standing on the steps of his residence at Number 10 Downing Street, surrounded by his Cabinet ministers.
"It will come as no surprise to all of you, and it is probably the least kept secret of recent years that the Queen has kindly agreed to the dissolution of parliament and a general election will take place on May 6," he said.
Mr. Brown said he had one simple message. "Britain is on the road to recovery and nothing we do should put that recovery at risk," said the prime minister.
The Labor Party has been in power for 13 years. Mr. Brown is emphasizing his financial experience, he was the British Cabinet minister in charge of finance under former prime minister Tony Blair before he took over from Blair in June 2007. This election will be Mr. Brown's first as prime minister.
"I am asking you the British people for a clear and straightforward mandate to continue the urgent and hard work of securing the recovery, building our industries for the future and creating a million skilled jobs over the next five years," he said.
Mr. Brown's main rival, David Cameron leads the Conservative Party. He told supporters the voters' concerns are clear. "Let me tell you what I think this election is all about. It is about the future of our economy, it is about the future of our society. It is about the future of our country. It is the most important general election for a generation, and it comes down to this, you do not have to put up with another five years of Gordon Brown," said Cameron.
Nick Clegg, who heads the third-place Liberal Democrat Party says this will not just be a two-way fight.
He called it a choice between old politics and a new way. "I think this is a huge, huge election," said Clegg. "I think this is the beginning of the end for Brown. I think he is directly and personally responsible, for so many of the things that have gone on in the last 13 years."
Personalities are expected to be a big feature in this election. For the first time in British history, the three main candidates will debate each other live on television.