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British PM Sunak's early election gamble amid abysmal ratings

People, shielding themselves with Union flag umbrellas, walk near the Elizabeth Tower, more commonly known as Big Ben, as British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called for a general election, 23 May 2024. (Photo by Reuters)

After weeks of feverish speculation, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, battling a Downing Street downpour, has opted to go to the polls far earlier than expected.

Earlier today, I spoke with His Majesty the King to request the dissolution of parliament. The King has granted this request, and we will have a general election on the Fourth of July.

Rishi Sunak, British Prime Minister

That was music to the ears of the Labour Party, who have been out of power for more than a decade and led the conservatives in the polls by some 20 percentage points for months.

The Labour party leader, Keir Starmer, called it a moment the country had been waiting for.

A vote for Labour is a vote for stability, economic and political; a politics that treads more lightly on all our lives; a vote to stop the chaos.

Labour Party Leader, Sir Keir Starmer

There is chaos within the conservative party as well with some of the MPs calling it madness, a big gamble to go to the country given the government's current abysmal poll ratings.

However, it seems that after the poor gains and the recent local elections, as well as rumors of dissent within the Tory party itself, the prime minister decided that things were only going to take a turn for the worse if he waited any longer.

The prime minister says the country is on the right track under his leadership pointing to falling inflation as a sign that his government is best placed to end three years of a cost of living crisis that's pushed millions of Britons into poverty.

But many people see a little evidence of things improving.

The prime minister can say what he likes but the public see uncontrolled death in Gaza.

They see this weird immigration policy that doesn't seem to do anything.

They feel massive waiting lists for the NHS amounting to millions.

 Rishi Sunak standing in the rain telling us we've never had it so good just doesn't feel like the reality.

And I think that's going to be reflected in the ballot box.

Lembit Opik, Former British MP

And then there is the issue of Israel's genocidal war on Gaza.

Both Sunak and Starmer continue their staunch support for the Israeli regime, despite months of public protests by millions of Britons, a position that will likely decide many people's votes on Election Day.

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