UK PM calls 6 May general election

The UK Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, announced the country’s next general election is to be held on May 6.

PM Gordon Brown

He made the announcement after Queen Elizabeth agreed to dissolve Parliament on April 12. The date has been suspected by the media for months and Brown referred to it as the “least well-kept secret of recent years”.

The current Parliament will sit for a final time on April 8, meaning it has just two days to pass any remaining legislation. Many bills will have to be scrapped and reintroduced in the next Parliament, which will sit for the first time on May 18.

The three main parties in the UK are the Labour Party, the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats. Labour has been in power for thirteen years, but current opinion polls show it trailing behind the Conservatives.

For the first time in a UK election, there will be three televised debates between the main party leaders — Gordon Brown for Labour, David Cameron for the Conservatives, and Nick Clegg for the Liberal Democrats. The debates will air on April 15, 22, and 27.

Whatever the outcome of the election, the resulting Parliament will differ drastically from the preceding one, with at least 144 of the 650 Members of Parliament standing down.

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