UK election I : could big Labour Party win on 4th of July US national holiday have any impact on November 5, 2024 election south of Canadian border??

May 22nd, 2024 | By | Category: In Brief
Conservative leader and current PM Rishi Sunak announces July 4 UK election in the rain, in front of 10 Downing Street.

NORTH AMERICAN NOTEBOOK. RANDALL WHITE, FERNWOOD PARK, TORONTO . WEDNESDAY, MAY 22, 2024. Am I the only human being to notice that PM Rishi Sunak has just called a UK general election for the time-honoured 4th of July US federal holiday — celebrating the Declaration of Independence from the UK on July 4, 1776?

The long and short answer here would seem to be YES — based on a quick survey of : “British PM Rishi Sunak calls election, with his Conservatives at risk of a heavy defeat” (NBC News/USA) ; “5 great things Britain’s July election ruins : A summer of fun in the sun? Nope” (Politico/Europe) ; “Rishi Sunak announces 4 July general election” (BBC News/UK) ; and “UK election called for 4 July – what happens next?” (The Conversation/UK).

I have myself (and again virtually all by myself, it usually seems, at least on the street where I live) long wondered if the widely predicted left-wing Labour Party landslide victory in a 2024 UK election that precedes the 2024 US election would have any significant impact on the contest between current Democratic President Biden and former Republican President Trump.

Labour leader Keir Starmer (right) on the campaign trail.

Possibly because I live in Canada, where federal Conservatives currently enjoy a big polling lead over the Trudeau Liberals, I have a sense that at least part of Trump Republican support in the USA does not ultimately have all that much to do with the twisted charisma of Donald Trump.

It (arguably) flows more from a sense of some wider conservative political mood in the air — not just in the USA but in such places as Hungary, India, Italy, and even Pierre Poilievre’s Canada. And if there is a big left-wing Labour Party victory in the UK, and now especially on the 4th of July US holiday, that just might dispel enough of the conservative mood internationally, as it were, to boost the cause of the Biden Democrats on November 5.

Of course this kind of thinking cannot explain why the UK Conservative prime minister should choose to call a July 4, 2024 UK election.

My only thought here is that Rishi Sunak, already an unusual and even path-breaking figure as a UK prime minister, might be entertaining wild and crazy thoughts about identifying with American history, as a way of enlisting some Trumpian right-wing charisma on the Conservative side in the UK election that hardly anyone seems to think he can win (at the moment).

And then there’s the question of just what a big Labour win in the UK might finally do for PM Justin Trudeau in Canada!

If this makes any sense at all, Mr. Sunak is gambling that his 4th of July UK election will have something like the opposite ideological impact in the UK, to what I have (perhaps quite misguidedly) been idly speculating it might have on the November 5 election in the USA.

In any case, even if I am altogether wrong in all my speculations here (a likely enough prospect, no doubt), I remain intrigued by what PM Sunak has done in calling his 4th of July UK election.

It used to be said that in Canada we had one eye on New York and the other on London. Now we at least ought to add Los Angeles and New Delhi or Bejing to the picture. (To say nothing of Paris or even Sydney or Melbourne, just to start with.) In any case, even in 2024 a UK election on the 4th of July is bound to make the traditional US Independence Day more interesting in Canada than it might otherwise prove to be.

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