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British Parliament officially dissolved ahead of elections

Photo: Stefan Rousseau via Associated Press UK Labor Party leader Keir Starmer with nursing and medical students in Worcester on Wednesday May 29, 2024.

Germain Moyon – Agence France-Presse in London

Published yesterday at 9:23 p.m.

  • Europe

The British Parliament was officially dissolved on Thursday in preparation for the July 4 legislative elections, which are well on their way to bringing an era of change to the United Kingdom as Labor leads the polls ahead of the ruling Conservatives.

After 14 years in opposition, Labor (centre left) finds itself in a strong position five weeks before the election and its leader Keir Starmer, a former specialist lawyer in human rights, appears to be the big favorite to take the helm of the government.

Unable to stop his party's fall in the polls, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak tried to regain the initiative last week by calling this election in July when they were not expected until the fall.

Since then, this former banker and Minister of Finance has traveled his country at a frenetic pace but has had a difficult start to the campaign, marked by the announcement of the legislative elections in pouring rain or by a visit to Belfast in the Titanic district, inevitably drawing comparisons with the sinking of the famous liner…

The surprise effect had no effect miracle for the moment and the first week of the campaign has not changed the dynamic in place. Polls place Labor at 45% of voting intentions on average compared to 23% for the Tories, suggesting, given the simple majority voting system, a very large victory for Labor.

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  • Voters in the United Kingdom will go to the polls on July 4

Unprecedented exodus

A new phase of the campaign opens with the official dissolution of the Parliament elected in 2019 , following elections won by Boris Johnson triumphant against the very left-wing Jeremy Corbyn.

The 650 seats in the House of Commons are now vacant and the race for succession is launched in the constituencies.

Whatever the result, these legislative elections promise to be the end of an era at the Palace of Westminster after 14 years of domination of the conservatives.

Some 129 deputies have so far announced that they will not run again and have only had a few days to pack their boxes. Among them are 77 conservatives, an unprecedented exodus for a party in power.

Some elected representatives of the majority have chosen to throw in the towel in the face of disastrous polls. Others, from all sides, prefer to retrain or devote more time to their family, exhausted by years weighed down by Brexit, the political scandals of the Boris Johnson era and generally increasing public hostility.

Among the Tories who are representing themselves, some have not hidden their annoyance at having been caught off guard. Steve Baker, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, continued his vacation in Greece, explaining that he would prepare his campaign there.


In an attempt to turn things around, Rishi Sunak hopes to gain points during planned debates with Keir Starmer, the first of which is scheduled for Tuesday evening on ITV.

For the moment, he has mainly aimed at the heart of the conservative electorate, rather older, by proposing a national service for young people aged 18 or tax cuts for retirees.

Labor seeks to take advantage of the public's weariness towards the Conservatives, victims of their incessant internal quarrels, associated with the decline of public services – notably health – as well as the economic difficulties of the last two years, with a fall in purchasing power.

Symbol of the refocusing methodically carried out by Keir Starmer since 2020, this party received this week the support of 120 personalities from the employers, formerly a strong wind against Jeremy Corbyn's programme.

This strategy, however, experienced a first hitch this week when Diane Abbott, the first black woman elected MP and a figure of the British left, denounced Labour's desire, according to her, to refuse her the nomination.

Keir Starmer assured that the fate of this politician, who was suspended last year for comments on racism, had not been decided. But the treatment of this highly respected 70-year-old, 37 of whom she served as an MP, has drawn strong criticism.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116