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International News, Political

Monash Expert: UK election announced

Monash University 2 mins read

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has announced 4 July as the date for the UK general election, despite commentators predicting an election later in the year. A Monash University expert is available to talk about why the Prime Minister may have brought the election date forward and the outlook for both major parties. 

 

Associate Professor Ben Wellings, Politics and International Relations

Contact details: +61 421 470 181 or Ben.Wellings@monash.edu

Read more of Associate Professor Wellings’ commentary at Monash Lens

 

The following can be attributed to Associate Professor Wellings:

 

“Despite the Conservatives trailing by 20 points in the polls no-one should write off the Conservative Party, and Labour have a history of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

 

“Nonetheless, the unpopularity of the Conservative Party can be attributed to the chaotic and damaging leaderships of Boris Johnson and Liz Truss who between them managed to deepen mistrust in politics and ruin the Conservatives’ reputation for competent management of the UK economy.

“The Conservatives will find themselves squeezed by former Labour voters who switched to the Tories at the 2019 election returning to Labour or voting for the radical right Reform UK, and by moderate Conservatives voters put off by Conservative ‘culture war’ politics voting for the centrist Liberal Democrats.

“Labour strategists are banking on the collapse of support for the pro-independence Scottish National Party (SNP) to deliver them enough votes in Scotland to win power at Westminster, but this puts them at risk of Conservative claims that they might have to form a government with SNP support.

“The Labour Party under Keir Starmer is very different to that which lost the 2019 election under Jeremey Corbyn. However, this election seems to be more about voting the Conservatives out than any sort of positive enthusiasm for Labour, which has rolled-back many of its pledges on the environment in order to present a ‘small target’ to attacks from the Conservative-supporting media.

“Although there is a strong feeling that it is a time for change in the UK, the mistrust in politics epitomised by Boris Johnson may run so deep that many voters will simply stay at home on election day and vote for no-one.

“If Labour win, there will be less bombast about ‘Global Britain’, but Australia-UK relations will continue their current good form, not least AUKUS which is good for jobs in the north of England.”

For any other topics on which you may be seeking expert comment, contact the Monash University Media Unit on +61 3 9903 4840 or media@monash.edu 

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