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22nd May 2024

Rishi Sunak announces general election in July

Charlie Herbert

The country will go to the polls in six weeks time

Rishi Sunak has announced a general election will take place on July 4.

In an announcement outside Downing Street on Wednesday, the Prime Minister confirmed the country would head to the polls in six weeks time.

Rumours that Sunak would call an election had been circulating on social media throughout Wednesday, with Downing Street sources not ruling out an early election announcement.

In recent weeks, the prime minister had said a general election would take place in the second half of 2024, but it was widely assumed this would not be until the autumn.

ITV reports that there had been a split in the Tory party over whether to hold an election in July or November.

Meanwhile the Guardian says that government insiders had warned Sunak that the economy was unlikely to improve much over the summer, whilst questions would continue about the Rwanda policy.

The publication says it was this that convinced the PM to call an election early.

The latest an election could have been called is December 17 this year, which would have been the fifth anniversary of the day this Parliament first met.

The last general election saw the Conservatives claim a landslide victory with a majority of 80 seats.

Boris Johnson was leader of the party at the time, but since then there have been two more Tory leaders – Liz Truss and Sunak.

More than 100 MPs have announced they will be standing down at the next election, including a number of senior Tory figures such as Nadhim Zahawi, Matt Hancock, Kwasi Kwarteng, Dominic Raab and Sajid Javid.

Anyone on the electoral register aged 18 or above on polling day can vote as long as they are:

  • a British citizen, a qualifying Commonwealth citizen or a Republic of Ireland citizen with a UK address
  • not legally excluded from voting

You must be on the electoral register in order to vote. You can register to vote at any time if you are 16 or over, or 14 or over in Scotland and Wales. To register to vote, click here.

UK citizens who live abroad can now register to vote in the constituency where they were previously on the electoral roll.

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