UK General Election Announced

(Image: Kaitlyn Beattie-Zarb)

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has announced a General Election, delivering a statement outside Downing Street late on Wednesday afternoon. The announcement comes after months of speculation, and following hours of meetings after word began spreading of a big announcement Tuesday evening. This snap election will be held in six weeks’ time, on the 4th of July.

Standing under pouring rain, the Prime Minister spoke of being introduced to the country 4 years ago, taking over as Chancellor of the Exchequer during the Covid-19 pandemic. He held that role until the 5th of July 2022, resigning in order to compete in the conservative leadership race after the resignation of Boris Johnson. 

Sunak then became Prime Minister on the 22nd of October of that year, taking over from Liz Truss, who held the position for just 49 days. As of May this year, the Conservative party has been the governing party of the UK for 14 years. 

Sunak fought through a backdrop of music and protestors to make the speech, a stark reminder of the current political situation in the UK and abroad. He asked for King Charles III’s permission for the dissolution of parliament this morning, which was the first time the new King had been asked. 

The announcement comes after timely news this morning of inflation dropping by 2.3%, its lowest level in almost three years. 

For this election, students can vote in either their home address or their University address if they are registered, but they cannot vote at both addresses. It will be possible to apply for a postal ballot so that you can vote in your place of choice. The election comes, notably, after the end of semester for many universities, and in the middle of the summer break. 

Many other party leaders jumped to action with the unveiling of this snap election date. 

Labour Leader Keir Starmer having presented a pre-manifesto presentation last week, Starmer appeared on camera shortly after Sunak, highlighting a key message of change. He also promoted his policy of Great British Energy which would be a state-owned energy company promoting renewable energy alongside other policy ideas from his key pledges. 

Lib Dem Leader Ed Davey has also recently commented saying that the Liberal Democrats are best placed to defeat the Conservatives in the southern blue wall.

Both the Green Party and Reform UK have put messages out on their social media, with the Greens highlighting their candidates for seats, and the Reform party pushing the slogan ‘We’re Ready’. 

First Minister of Scotland John Swinney commented to the BBC earlier today that it was “sooner than everybody thought” but “a welcome opportunity to remove the Tory government and put Scotland first.” He commented it was his view that it was disrespectful to put the election during Scottish school holidays. 

Plaid Cymru said on X (previously known as Twitter) that they were “fighting for fairness” and to vote for Wales in Westminster. The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) leader Gavin Robinson MP quoted online that it was “time to strengthen the Unionist position”. Northern Irish party Sinn Fein are yet to comment. Although standing for election, they do not sit in Westminster due to their belief in a United Ireland. 

Resignation for the July 4th General Election is currently open, with it likely to close about 12 days before polling day. It can be completed online at

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