All You Need To Know About Main Players In UK's General Elections

The United Kingdom will head to the polls on July 4 in a long-anticipated general election called on Wednesday by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

May 23, 2024 - 00:30
All You Need To Know About Main Players In UK's General Elections

The United Kingdom will head to the polls on July 4 in a long-anticipated general election called on Wednesday by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

Here are the main players in the nationwide vote.

Rishi Sunak

Sunak, 44, is seeking his own mandate from the British public having been installed as Conservative leader, and therefore prime minister, by his own MPs in October 2022.

He succeeded Liz Truss, who was ousted following just 49 days in power after her tax-cutting economic agenda spooked markets and lost her the support of her party.

Sunak, who is of Indian descent, became the UK's first British Asian and Hindu prime minister when he was elected unopposed by fellow Tory MPs.

The ex-financier has been credited with steadying government following the chaos of the Truss and Boris Johnson premierships and for halving inflation.

He has failed though to meet several promises, including cutting health waiting lists, stopping irregular immigration, and sending migrants to Rwanda.

Opinion polls regularly give him some of the lowest approval ratings of any Prime Minister ever.

Keir Starmer

Keir Starmer, leader of the main opposition Labour Party, is a former human rights lawyer and chief public prosecutor tipped by pollsters to win the election and become prime minister.

Starmer, 61, has been credited with moving his party back to the centre ground and rooting out anti-Semitism since succeeding left-winger Jeremy Corbyn as leader in April 2020.

Supporters see him as a pragmatic, safe pair of hands, ideally suited to managing Britain back from economic decline.

Critics accuse him of being an uninspiring flip-flopper who has failed to spell out a clear vision for the country.

Starmer was born in London to a toolmaker father and a nurse mother. His unusual first name was his socialist parents' tribute to Labour's founding father -- Keir Hardie.

The keen footballer and Arsenal fan was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for services to criminal justice but rarely uses the prefix "Sir" before his name.

Nigel Farage

He has never been an MP and is yet to confirm if he is even running to become one, but arch-Eurosceptic Nigel Farage is set to influence the election -- either as parliamentary candidate or TV news host.

The 60-year-old beer-loving, cigarette-smoking ex-member of the European Parliament is one of the most divisive personalities in UK politics.

He gained the nickname "Mr Brexit" by former US president Donald Trump after helping to persuade a majority of Britons in 2016 to vote to leave the European Union.

For months he has been teasing a run for office, likely for the right-wing populist Reform UK party that he co-founded in 2018 and for which he currently serves as honorary president.

Reform has polled around 10 percent in recent months, which if replicated at the vote could deprive the Conservatives of several key seats needed to win re-election.

Farage is a perennial loser at Westminster, however, failing to be elected in seven attempts and may feel he has more sway sticking as a high-profile presenter for right-wing channel GB News.

Swinney, Davey and Denyer

Neither Ed Davey's Liberal Democrats nor John Swinney's Scottish National Party (SNP) will win the election -- but they could have a say in who does.

Davey, 58, hopes his party can stop a Conservative victory by winning several seats in southern England as it eyes overtaking the SNP to regain its position as the third-largest party in parliament.

Swinney, 60, does not sit in the UK parliament but is first minister in the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh, having taken over the leadership of the SNP in May following Humza Yousaf's resignation.

His SNP is struggling to fend off a resurgent Labour party in Scotland, which could kill off its independence hopes for a generation.

Green Party co-leader Carla Denyer, 38, is hoping to win the new seat of Bristol Central as the fringe outfit targets increasing its representation from one to four MPs.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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