LONDON (Diya TV) — United Kingdom Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has called a surprise general election for July 4, presenting a high-stakes gamble as his Conservative Party faces a significant deficit in the polls against the opposition Labour Party. Sunak announced the election date several months earlier than expected, aiming to capitalize on recent economic improvements.

Standing outside Downing Street in the rain, Sunak declared this election as “the moment for Britain to choose its future.” He emphasized the need for continuity under Conservative leadership to maintain the country’s economic stability. Despite the downpour and the protest music blaring from nearby, Sunak highlighted his achievements both as Prime Minister and former Finance Minister, pledging to fight for every vote and earn the public’s trust.

He accused Labour leader Keir Starmer of lacking a solid plan and taking the “easy way out.” Conversely, Starmer, who has repositioned Labour towards the political center, focused on the need for change in his response. “On July 4, voters have the chance to stop the chaos and start rebuilding Britain,” he said, emphasizing the choice between continued Conservative governance and a fresh start with Labour.

Sunak’s decision comes at a time when his party is trailing Labour by about 20 points in the opinion polls. His move has caused mixed reactions within his party, with some members expressing shock and others acknowledging the potential risks if economic conditions worsen or if the flagship Rwanda asylum seeker scheme faces legal challenges.

The Prime Minister, who took office less than two years ago, has struggled to define his leadership style, swinging between being a bold reformer and a steady technocrat. Now, he hopes that recent economic gains, such as falling inflation and faster economic growth, will boost his party’s fortunes.

Both major parties have already begun their campaigns, with the Conservatives focusing on economic stability and defense, while Labour attacks the government’s record of economic mismanagement and lack of stability. Labour argues that 14 years of Conservative rule have left the country worse off, while Sunak counters that his government’s plans are necessary to secure the future.

Sunak’s strategy includes painting Labour as tax-raisers unfit to handle Britain’s challenges, especially in a time of global uncertainty. Meanwhile, Labour is pushing the message that it’s time for change, promising to end the chaos and rebuild the country with a stable and long-term plan.

The election will be the first held in July since 1945, and it coincides with the Euro 2024 football tournament, potentially influencing public sentiment. If Labour wins, it will mark a significant shift in British politics, bringing the sixth Prime Minister in eight years, a level of political turnover not seen since the 1830s.

Despite Labour’s strong lead in the polls, some within the party are cautious, knowing they need a significant swing to secure a parliamentary majority. They are also aware of the challenges posed by undecided voters and the necessity of completing candidate selections.

Sunak hopes that a successful launch of the Rwanda asylum seeker flights before the election will bolster his campaign, though this remains uncertain. His call for an early election has caught many off guard, but he believes this is the right moment to seek a renewed mandate from the British people.

In the meantime, political tensions are high, with both parties preparing for an intense campaign period. Sunak’s move sets the stage for a dramatic and consequential election, where the future direction of the UK will be decided.