Dispatch from London: UK Elections 2024

The upcoming United Kingdom general election on July 4, 2024, marks a pivotal moment in British politics, being the first general election post-Brexit and under the reign of King Charles III. This election is set to determine the future trajectory of the UK’s domestic and foreign policies amid a period of substantial political transformation. We are excited to present our Haizum Dispatch from London, with focus on the UK Elections, meticulously designed to deliver in-depth insights into the complexities of the UK political sphere.

This week we particularly focus on:

  1. An Introduction to the 2024 Elections
  2. Main Candidate Profiles: a Comparison
Upcoming UK Elections

The United Kingdom is set to hold its elections on July 4th, as confirmed by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in a formal announcement to the nation from Downing Street. He emphasized his role in guiding the country through its most significant challenges since World War II over the past four years, including the aftermath of the pandemic and the impact of Russia’s war in Ukraine. The call for elections comes approximately six months ahead of the natural end of the legislative term. For months, polls have shown Keir Starmer’s Labour opposition with a significant lead over the Conservatives, who have been in power for 14 years.


Sunak informed the Cabinet of his decision, which includes the formal dissolution of Parliament on 30 May, following a routine vote of ratification. This will initiate a 40-day election campaign leading up to the vote. Although media speculation had hinted at an early election, the acceleration has taken much of the political world by surprise, including several Tory MPs. Some within the ultra-Brexiteer faction of the party, speaking anonymously, have labeled the Prime Minister’s move as “madness” given that the Conservatives are trailing Labour by about 20 points in the polls.


According to initial comments, the Prime Minister has decided to act decisively, aiming to capitalize on the recent decline in inflation, one of his few remaining electoral opportunities. Additionally, he hopes to highlight the imminent deportation of illegal migrants to Rwanda as a symbolic fulfillment of his post-Brexit border control promises, sidestepping potential delays that could arise in the coming months with this highly controversial plan. In this context, the more realistic goal may be to minimize the scale of the Conservatives’ almost certain defeat, and potentially to prevent Keir Starmer’s Labour Party from securing an outright majority in the House of Commons.


The 2024 election will be the first conducted under the new constituency boundaries established by the 2023 Periodic Review of Westminster constituencies. These changes, designed to reflect population shifts, are expected to impact the distribution of seats, with areas in Southern England gaining representation at the expense of Northern regions. This redistricting is anticipated to favor the Conservative Party slightly due to historical voting patterns in these regions​. 


Several legislative changes will influence the electoral process. The Elections Act 2022 introduces voter identification requirements, aiming to reduce electoral fraud. Additionally, the removal of the 15-year limit on voting for British citizens living abroad is expected to expand the electorate. These reforms are part of broader efforts to modernize the UK’s electoral framework and ensure greater electoral integrity​.


The Conservative Party, faces considerable challenges. Having governed for nearly 14 years, the party has been marred by internal divisions, frequent leadership changes, and scandals. The tenure of Sunak follows the controversial leaderships of Boris Johnson and the brief period of Liz Truss, whose economic policies led to significant political fallout. Recent polling data indicates a substantial decline in Conservative support, driven by public dissatisfaction with the handling of economic issues and internal party conflicts​. The Labour Party, under the leadership of Keir Starmer, is poised to make significant gains. Starmer has successfully repositioned Labour towards the political center, distancing the party from the more left-wing policies of his predecessor, Jeremy Corbyn. Labour’s strategy focuses on capturing moderate votes, addressing key issues such as healthcare, immigration, and economic stability. Current polls suggest Labour enjoys a substantial lead, with projections indicating a potential solid majority in Parliament​.


Sunak’s government must navigate a complex landscape, seeking to unify the party and regain public trust. Key strategies include focusing on economic recovery, addressing public services, and managing immigration effectively. The Conservatives must also contend with potential challenges from within the party, as factions vie for influence and position ahead of the election​. On the other hand, Starmer’s Labour is expected to capitalize on the Conservative disarray, presenting a vision of stability and competent governance. The party’s focus on centrist policies and pragmatic solutions aims to attract a broad base of support. Labour’s challenge will be maintaining party unity, particularly concerning foreign policy issues such as the recent Middle Eastern crisis, which has highlighted internal divisions​. Minor parties, such as the Liberal Democrats, the Scottish National Party and Reform UK, are striving to bolster their parliamentary representation despite challenges. The Liberal Democrats continue to grapple with the lingering impact of their coalition with the Conservatives from 2010-2015, which has affected their polling performance. Meanwhile, Reform UK aims to capitalize on the perceived weaknesses of the major parties to gain traction and support. The Liberal Democrats focus on issues like Brexit’s aftermath and civil liberties, while Reform UK aligns with more conservative and nationalist sentiments​.


The 2024 UK general election is a watershed moment, reflecting broader socio-political shifts within the country. With significant changes in electoral boundaries, new voting regulations, and a highly polarized political environment, the outcomes will have profound implications for the UK’s future governance. Observers will be closely monitoring the election as a barometer of public sentiment and a potential harbinger of broader changes in the British political landscape.

2024 UK Election Polls
Main Candidate Profiles: a Comparison

In the lead-up to the snap election on July 4, the political landscape in the UK is being shaped by two prominent figures: Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Labour Party leader Keir Starmer. Both candidates present distinct visions for the future of the country, aiming to address the pressing issues that define this election cycle. This comparison delves into their backgrounds, political ideologies, personal attributes, and campaign strategies, offering a comprehensive overview of the contrasts and commonalities between these two leaders. By examining these facets, we can better understand the choices facing the electorate and the potential directions for the UK’s governance.

Key issues in the upcoming elections encompass economic recovery, public debt, unemployment, and inflation. Both parties will present comprehensive strategies for economic growth, with the Conservatives advocating for lower taxes and Labour focusing on investment in the transition to a net-zero economy. Additionally, critical topics include addressing geopolitical threats and managing immigration. Labour is also committed to enhancing public services and addressing housing challenges.


Rishi Sunak, a former hedge fund manager, is known for his considerable wealth and luxurious lifestyle. Born to immigrant parents of Indian descent from East Africa, he attended prestigious private schools and graduated from Oxford University before earning an MBA from Stanford University. His career in finance and subsequent entry into politics underscore a trajectory marked by professional success. He is a teetotaler and places high value on family, with two young daughters whom he prioritizes in his personal life. His affinity for California reflects his international outlook and elite background.

Keir Starmer, on the other hand, hails from a working-class background and presents a more modest personal style. His father was a toolmaker, and his mother was a nurse. Starmer studied law at Leeds and Oxford universities, eventually becoming a top prosecutor with significant experience in human rights law. His demeanor is serious, reflecting his background in law and his commitment to reforms. His career reflects a strong interest to justice and public service, grounded in Labour Party values. He has two teenage children and is candid about the challenges of balancing family life with his political career.


In the realm of sports, Sunak supports Southampton, while Starmer is an Arsenal fan. These allegiances highlight their personal connections to different regions and communities within the UK.

Rishi Sunak’s campaign is built on the theme of “security.” He positions himself as the protector of the UK in a world fraught with dangers, emphasizing threats such as Russian aggression and espionage from China. His narrative casts the Labour Party as an uncertain alternative, untested in navigating these global challenges. Sunak promises to maintain stability and safeguard national interests.

In contrast, Keir Starmer’s campaign centers on “change.” After 14 years of Conservative rule, he argues it is time for a new direction. Starmer advocates for moving beyond what he describes as years of chaos under Conservative leadership, proposing fresh policies to rejuvenate the nation’s political and social landscape.

Sunak advocates for secure borders, fiscal conservatism, nuclear deterrence, and increasing the number of healthcare workers. He is a staunch supporter of Brexit, framing it as a means to reclaim national sovereignty and economic control. His policies aim to ensure national security and economic stability.


Starmer promotes economic growth through investment in green energy and technology, enhanced healthcare services, and crime reduction initiatives. While initially opposing Brexit, he now adopts a pragmatic approach, focusing on mitigating its impacts and exploring future possibilities for UK-EU relations. His manifesto includes ambitious plans for environmental sustainability and social justice.

Despite their differences, Sunak and Starmer share several similarities. Both are internationalists who endorse sound fiscal policies and aim to strengthen the UK’s global standing. They have both transcended the traditional class barriers to rise to significant political power. As leaders, they are analytical and detail-oriented, traits that make them formidable debaters and effective policymakers. Both emphasize the importance of secure borders and aim to improve the healthcare system.


Current polls indicate a significant lead for Starmer’s Labour Party, suggesting a strong likelihood of a shift in power. Both leaders, however, face critical questions regarding their plans to address the UK’s economic challenges and national debt. Their ability to articulate and implement sustainable financial policies will be a decisive factor in the upcoming election.

In summary, while Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer present contrasting visions and backgrounds, they also share common goals for national security and fiscal responsibility. The upcoming election will be a critical juncture for the UK, with voters deciding between continuity and change.



P. IVA 12561140968

Via Pattari, 6, 20122 Milano MI

Proud Member of

© 2022 Created by ABCPRODUCTION.digital



P. IVA 12561140968

Via Pattari, 6, 20122 Milano MI

Proud member of

© 2022 Created by ABCPRODUCTION.digital