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Your primer on the United Kingdom’s general elections

Your primer on the United Kingdom’s general elections
As the United Kingdom heads to the polls on July 4, our experts break down the key issues and dynamics at play.

Table of Contents

Britons head to the polls on July 4 to elect a new parliament, which is likely to bring an end to fourteen years of Conservative Party rule. The latest polling data suggests that the Conservative Party is set to potentially lose more than two-thirds of its seats, with Labour projected to win by a 280-seat majority. The Tories have seen a lot in their fourteen years of uninterrupted rule, including the Brexit vote in June 2016, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022. Mismanagement of the pandemic, a sputtering economy, and a general unease with the country’s evolution have contributed to the Conservative Party’s deep unpopularity. The top priorities for voters in this election include the high cost of living, fixing the National Health Service (NHS) crisis, immigration policies, climate change, and reducing national debt. The election will also have implications for the UK’s foreign policy, particularly in relation to the European Union (EU) and the United States. The outcome of the UK elections could make way for a deepening and widening of cooperation between the UK and the EU, particularly on security and defense, financial services, and support for Ukraine. The future of US-UK cooperation is less contingent on who occupies 10 Downing Street and more on who occupies the White House. Regardless of the outcome of the US election, it is likely that any future UK government will continue to push for trade negotiations and a deal with the United States.