UK General Election 2024: What You Need to Know

Polling Day: Thursday, July 4, 2024

UK General Election 2024

London: As the rain-soaked announcement outside 10 Downing Street fades into memory, the UK gears up for a historic general election. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s surprise decision to call a snap election has set the stage for a high-stakes battle between political heavyweights.

The Basics

  • When: Thursday, July 4, 2024
  • Voting Hours: 7 am to 10 pm (local time)
  • Where: Registered voters across the 650 parliamentary constituencies will cast their ballots at polling stations (usually schools or community centers).

The Voting System

The UK employs the first-past-the-post (FPTP) system. In this old racing metaphor applied to voting, the candidate with the most votes becomes a Member of Parliament (MP) for their constituency, regardless of whether they secure 50% of the votes. Unlike proportional representation (PR) systems used in most European countries, the UK’s FPTP system doesn’t allocate seats proportionally based on party votes.

The Contenders

  • Labour Party: Led by Keir Starmer, Labour aims to unseat the Conservatives after their 14-year rule.
  • Conservative Party: PM Rishi Sunak’s party faces a tough fight to retain power.
  • Reform UK: The right-wing populist party hopes to make an impact.

Exit Polls and Expectations

  • Opinion polls favor Labour, predicting a clear majority. If this holds, the Conservative Party’s long-standing rule will crumble.
  • Sunak, an Indian-origin leader, insists the outcome isn’t predetermined. Despite challenges, he believes things are better now than before.

The Stakes

  • Voters decide the fate of Sunak and four former Conservative Prime Ministers.
  • 15 MPs of Indian origin, elected in 2019, are in the fray again.
  • Keir Starmer’s center-left appeal seeks to sway voters for change.
UK General Election 2024

The Competition

  • Resentment simmers against Sunak, accused of unfulfilled promises.
  • Besides the major parties, the Liberal Democrats, Green Party, and UK Reform Party vie for attention.
  • The real showdown: Sunak’s Conservatives vs. Labour.

All eyes are on the exit polls as Britain heads to the polls. By the early hours of July 5, we’ll know whether the Labour Party’s surge reshapes the political landscape or if the Conservatives can defy the odds once more²³. Stay tuned!