Rishi Sunak indicates UK general elections in second half of 2024

However, a date is yet to be decided

UK general elections 2024 UK Prime Minister | AFP

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Thursday seemed to rule out going to the electorate in the coming months as he indicated that the UK general election will be held in the second half of 2024.

During his first tour of the New Year to the market town of Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, in the East Midlands region of England, the British Indian leader told broadcasters that he still has a lot to do before calling an election which must be held latest by January 2025 at the end of five years of a Conservative Party led government. While he declined to rule out an election in May, as was being widely speculated, Sunak seems to be inclined to go the polls around the two-year mark since he took charge at 10 Downing Street in October 2022.

"My working assumption is we'll have a general election in the second half of this year and in the meantime, I've got lots that I want to get on with," said Sunak.

"We want to keep managing the economy and cutting people's taxes, and I want to keep tackling illegal migration I've got plenty to get on with and that's what I am focussed on, delivering for the British people, he said.

The 43-year-old leader admitted the past year had been "tricky" as the UK dealt with the legacy of COVID, the war in Ukraine and the conflict in Gaza, but promised a "better year" ahead.

He added: "Look, 2023, I'll be honest, it wasn't the easiest of years, for any of us, it wasn't an easy year for our country.

I know that 2024 is going to be a better year, I want to make sure that all of you believe 2024 is going to be a better year too.

The repeal of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act in 2022 restored the ability of British prime ministers to set election dates. However, by law a general election has to take place at least every five years, making January 2025 the outermost deadline.

Meanwhile, in his election-oriented speech in Bristol, Opposition Leader Sir Keir Starmer set out the Labour Party's "Project Hope" for a "downtrodden Britain". He accused the Sunak-led Tories of squatting in Downing Street despite the country being ready for an election.

"We are ready for a general election. I think the country is ready for a general election, he told the BBC.

The Prime Minister has hinted without setting a date that it might be later this year. Why can't he set a date? Him squatting in Downing Street for months on end, dithering and delaying while the country wants change, he said.

Most opinion polls give Labour a comfortable lead over the Conservatives, who are contending with strong anti-incumbency sentiment amid political upheavals, a cost-of-living crisis and soaring immigration.

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