Rishi Sunak suggests general election will be in ‘second half of the year’

Rishi Sunak has appeared to rule out holding a general election in the first half of the year.

It comes amid speculation that the prime minister could call an election as early as May.

Speaking in the East Midlands, he was asked if he knew when Britons will head to the polls for an election.

“My working assumption is we’ll have a general election in the second half of this year and in the meantime I’ve got lots that I want to get on with”, Sunak told ITV.

Pressed if he could rule out a May election, he repeated it is his “working assumption” that the vote will be held later in the year.

He added: “I want to keep going, managing the economy well and cutting people’s taxes. But I also want to keep tackling illegal migration”.

“So, I’ve got lots to get on with and I’m determined to keep delivering for the British people.”

Under the Dissolution and Calling of Parliament Act 2022, January 2025 is the latest the prime minister could hold an election according to law. 

According to the Act, if an election was not called by 17 December 2024, parliament would automatically dissolve and the election would take place 25 working days later.

17 December 2024 is exactly five years since parliament first met after the last general election, held in 2019.

Sunak’s comments today come after he confirmed to lobby journalists at a press gallery drinks reception in No 10 Downing Street before Christmas that an election “will” be held this year in 2024. 

Rishi Sunak confirms election will be next year, despite legal right to wait until January 2025

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