UK Parties Sharpen Knives As General Election Looms


UK parties sharpen knives as general election looms

London, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 23rd May, 2024) UK political parties began jostling for position on Thursday, setting out their electoral battle plans after embattled Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called a general election for July 4.

Sunak ended months of speculation about the date of the vote in a rain-soaked speech Wednesday outside Downing Street, which some took as an omen for his Conservatives' chances at the ballot box.

The right-wing Tories, in power since 2010 but battered by Brexit, a slew of scandals and ideological infighting, have consistently trailed the main opposition Labour party in opinion polls for two years.

That gap has widened, prompting many commentators to predict a landslide win for Labour in what would be a remarkable reverse after a heavy defeat for the leftists in 2019.

Soon after Sunak's speech, a snap Survation poll of voting intentions put Labour on 48 points, its highest since November 2022 and a huge 21 points ahead of the Tories, on 27.

The online poll of more than 1,000 adults on Wednesday and Thursday also found that 43 percent of respondents said Labour leader Keir Starmer would make a better prime minister than Sunak.

Survation said the results were consistent with Labour's polling throughout 2023 and this year, and with other surveys that have suggested similar results.

The vote -- the first to be held in July in the UK since 1945, when Labour won -- will be Sunak's first national electoral test, as he was appointed Tory leader by his own MPs in October 2022.

A former financier, the 44-year-old Sunak presented his party as the safe choice in an increasingly dangerous world, and promised to "fight for every vote" to overturn the opinion poll deficit.