Independence Day? UK General Election Called For July 4th

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the next UK general election, saying Britons would choose their next government on July 4th.

The Prime Minister will exercise his prerogative to choose the date of the general election, in which all members of the House of Commons will vote, and the resulting largest party will form the government. After a brief flirtation with constitutional reform this century and a disastrous attempt at a fixed-term parliament, elections can now be held at any time for up to five years.

In theory, the Prime Minister’s term runs until January next year, and given that this would allow as much time as possible for the economy to show “green shoots” of recovery, the conventional wisdom was that the Prime Minister would withdraw from the election as late as possible, which would have increased Sunak’s chances. As things stand, the Conservative Party is suffering a record low voter turnout, and if recent figures and results are replicated at the ballot box in July, the Conservatives may be all but wiped out in the election.

“Now is the time for Britain to decide its future,” the prime minister said outside Downing Street, his suit soaking wet from a rainstorm and competing with the loud music of anti-government protesters just meters away. The date was set as July 4th.

On Wednesday, May 22, 2024, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak returned to 10 Downing Street in London after announcing a general election on July 4. It rained heavily during the speech. (AP Photo/Kin Chung)

Such a result is not all that surprising or even unreasonable. The British Conservative Party has had a blatant disregard for its own voters for years, and is fairly consistently to the left of the Conservative Party on social issues, particularly border control and mass immigration. Voters who have been persuaded to vote Conservative in the past are now going to test what they think about their attitude towards the Conservative Party.

As previously reported, Conservative politicians have not tried very hard to hide their deception when it comes to immigration, and in some cases have even openly admitted to lying. The most notorious example of such blunt honesty was former Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, who spoke out about his manifesto commitment to reduce net immigration to the UK from the low hundreds of thousands to tens of thousands per year at the time.

Osborne said that despite being elected on the pledge, no senior government official actually supported it, but was “pleased to see” the flipside when it was later withdrawn. National broadcaster BBC reported last year that he met with five former British home secretaries and that none of them genuinely wanted to cut immigration, despite telling the public the opposite.

An anonymous person reportedly said:[we] They said it would bring the numbers down… but this country needs immigrants… I didn’t believe it. [promises to cut immigration levels,] I never thought that was wise. Another told the BBC: “I can’t be honest…I want to give the impression that I can do something, but it’s very, very difficult.”

Conservatives seem to internally justify lying to the public on these issues because they believe mass immigration is essential to economic growth. Even if this slogan is finally being dismantled, it will be too late to have a major impact on this election.

In the last national vote in 2019, the Conservatives were heavily encouraged by their one-sided electoral pact with Nigel Farage’s UK Reform Party, which received absolutely nothing in exchange for removing candidates from pro-Brexit Conservative seats in order to ‘get Brexit done.’ Nevertheless, the plan worked as intended and by not splitting the right-wing vote, the Reform Party won a historic majority of 365 out of 650 seats over the Conservatives.

But given that reformers have already rejected the idea outright, there is no hope that the Conservatives will be able to rely on such a boon this time. Leader Richard Tice said last week: “There will be no deal with the Conservatives.” They use our policy platform as a kind of baby seat for what they think they should support when it comes to gender ID, solar farms, immigration, and so on.

“But we know it’s just a campaign. 14 years of failure and zero deliveries shows they can’t believe it. We’re not that stupid. No one is, and neither are the voters. No one is listening to the untrustworthy Conservative Party saying or doing anything.”