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Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer to hit campaign trail as UK election race begins

23/5/2024 14:11
        British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his Labour Party rival Keir Starmer will kick off their election campaigns in earnest on Thursday, a day after Sunak surprised the nation by calling a vote for July 4.
        
        Sunak, whose Conservative Party trails Labour by around 20 percentage points in opinion polls, ended months of speculation centred on an election in October or November, and instead used a rain-soaked address to the electorate to kick off what is likely to be six weeks of frenetic campaigning.
        
        Both party leaders are expected to hit the campaign trail, seeking to seize the early initiative by meeting voters and delivering the messages they hope will earn them enough seats in parliament to form a majority government on July 5.
        
        At stake is control of the world's sixth largest economy which has endured years of low growth and high inflation, is still battling to make a success of its 2016 decision to exit the European Union, and is slowly recovering from twin shocks of COVID-19 and an energy price spike caused by the war in Ukraine.
        
        That backdrop makes the economy one of the most important electoral battlegrounds.
        



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