Why did the Conservative Party call a snap election?

Three reasons why Sunak called the election now

Why did the Conservative Party call a snap election?

1. A final show of strength

The decision by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to call an election on July 4 2024, over five months before he was required to do so, has been perceived as an attempted final show of strength. The Conservative Party, led by Sunak, are crurently 22 points behind the Labour Party in opinion polls, suggesting the following six weeks will be Sunak's last as Prime Minister.

Sunak may have been attempting to catch the Labour Party unaware and thus use a surprise tactic, whereby the Conservative Party is far more prepared for a campaign than their counterparts. However, arguably such a tactic is short lived, with Labour's campaign machine kicking into full force with candidates across the country launching their constituency campaigns. 

2. 'Economic stability'

The Conservative Party are running on a platform of economic stability. In Sunak's speech announcing the election, he emphasised the plan implemented so far by the party to tackle inflation and control debt.

He said, "I hope that my work, since I became prime minister, shows that we have a plan and are prepared to take bold action necessary for our country to flourish. Now, I've stuck with that plan and always been honest with you about what is needed, even when that's been difficult, because I'm guided by doing what is right for our country, not what is easy."

Over the campaign, it's likely Sunak will emphasise that the plan he has started is working, with inflation at its lowest in three years. Nevertheless, falling inflation rates do not correspond to lower prices overall, meaning the Conservative Party's rhetoric is at risk of alienating undecided voters.

3. It can't get worse, it can't get better

For many, the snap election can be explained through pragmatic logic: it can't get better or worse for the Conservative Party. If Sunak had waited until December to call an election, with voters going to the polls in January 2025, its likely his pledge to tackle illegal immigration through the Rwanda scheme would be exposed and NHS waiting times would further rise. By calling the election now, Sunak has decided to cut his losses and hit the campaign trail.

To stay up-to-date with the election, keep an eye on The 2024 Election Insider by Voice.

Header Image Credit: Number 10 via Flickr


Sienna James

Sienna James Voice Team

Sienna is the Assistant Editor at Voice. She spent three years studying History of Art at Cambridge University and loves to explore the intersection between politics, history and visual culture. She also loves to hear how young people and artists are engaging in various innovative forms of socio-political resistance whether that's activism or art-making.

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