What a full change of government in the UK would mean for Ukraine

Friday, 24 May 2024 —

On 22 May, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced a snap general election for the House of Commons for 4 July.

The British Prime Minister's statement ended several weeks, if not months, of uncertainty regarding parliamentary elections, along with the political fate of Sunak himself, which was threatened by the Conservatives' electoral failures.

Read more about why the elections were scheduled for 4 July, the winning chance for the ruling Conservative Party and what Ukraine should expect in the article by Oleh Pavliuk, a European Pravda journalist Oleh Pavliuk – The end of conservative era: What lies behind the snap elections in the UK.

Rishi Sunak likely faced considerable misfortune in becoming the leader of the Conservative Party – and the British government – at the time he did.


He became the third prime minister in two months from a political force torn apart by scandal after scandal.

Sunak's task was to restore voters' trust in the Conservatives and convince them that their long-term tenure in power (since 2010) did not require change.

His appointment was kind of the last chance for the Conservatives to prevent a Labour Party resurgence.

To achieve this, the new head of government announced an ambitious programme aimed at revitalising the British economy, reducing inflation, addressing healthcare system issues and combating migration.

Sunak emphasised these points when announcing the elections.

However, Sunak's government has few achievements to be proud about over the year in cabinet. Certainly no more than problems.

The local elections in early May signaled a trouble. The Conservatives fell to third place in terms of the number of seats in local governments.

Ultimately, it seems even Conservative Party members began to lose faith.

Over the past four years, the Tories have lost over two dozen seats.

It's not easy to answer why Sunak has decided to schedule the general snap elections for 4 July. It's likely partly a calculated move, partly a gamble and just a simple luck.

On one hand, the Conservative government might hope that the British people will soon see and feel the government's actions' results: economic improvements and the deportation of migrants to Rwanda (showing they are fulfiling their promises!).

Conversely, had the elections been held in October or November as expected, the Tories might have lost even more support.

Lastly, 4 July is the earliest date that meets two criteria: it’s a Thursday (the traditional voting day in the UK) and it’s in the "second half of the year," as Sunak promised.

An important moment for the UK: the elections hit the peak of the European Football Championship and the Wimbledon tournament, as well as the holiday and school vacation period in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

British voters might simply not be focused on politics on these days.

The Labour Party has a confident lead over the Conservatives in all polls by 20 to 30%. However, discussing their clear victory should still come with a few caveats.

One of the most accurate descriptions of the elections came from John Curtice, perhaps the most authoritative election expert in the UK: "This is an election for Labour to lose. Keir Starmer’s task is to hang on to the support the party has."

If there's one thing the Conservatives and Labours agree on, it's backing Ukraine against Russia's aggressive war.

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