Anne Sandager
3 weeks ago

“My boss told me to apply for a new job”: Reportage from the UK election announcement.

Impressions from London.
LONDON, UK - Apr 19, 2017. — Photo by palinchak
LONDON, UK - Apr 19, 2017. — Photo by palinchak

Early afternoon in the City of London. BBC reports that Cabinet ministers are clearing their schedules for the evening, and Foreign Secretary, David Cameron is turning his plane around to attend a cabinet meeting in the afternoon. 

I text a Conservative staff member, I know, “Is the election announcement happening today?”

An hour later I get confirmation that an announcement will indeed take place at the Prime Minister's residence on Downing Street 10 following the cabinet meeting scheduled for 4:15 PM. 

I pace down the streets of London. It is rainy and miserable. After making a quick stop at Buckingham Palace to see which journalists are lining up, I continue towards Downing Street.

Reporters are already getting checked by security when I arrive, while a couple dozen protesters have taken position outside the gates of Downing Street. Armed with speakers, banners, and top hats, most of them are yelling insults in the direction of the Prime Minister. 

Among the protesters, there is a sense that neither Rishi Sunak nor Keir Starmer are particularly welcome candidates for Britain’s next prime minister: 

According to YouGov, Rishi Sunak’s approval rating is at 20%, with leading Labour candidate, and election front-runner, Keir Starmer, only doing slightly better at 30% approval. 

“Hug these bar-stewards,” one protester yells. Police have seemingly told him to limit the use of profanities.

After an hour or so of waiting in the rain, police clear out the crowd completely.

Sunak has not yet stepped out from number 10, but it is clear that a July 4 election is imminent. So, I decide to leave the premises and jog to Parliament to get a better view of the announcement–on TV.

The Prime Minister opens his remarks by reflecting on the five years he has served in the government top as Chancellor and Prime Minister.

“The most challenging times since the Second World War,” he states. Sunak’s speech focuses on economic progress and lowering inflation rates, albeit parts are muffled by the sound of the speakers from the activists outside the Downing Street gates.

By the time the Prime Minister announces the general election, his blazer is soaked from the rain. A parliamentary staffer next to me notes that, “he couldn’t have chosen a worse backdrop.”

But inflation numbers came out today, so the election announcement could not wait.

I go to meet up with a few friends in the House of Lords Pub. I was expecting an empty establishment, but to my surprise the place is packed–and jolly! 

I sit down for a chat with a parliamentary assistant for a Conservative MP. He is drinking, cheerfully chatting with his colleagues.

“My boss told me today that I should start applying for other jobs,” he says. While the proximity of the election is a surprise for most people I talk to, there is a common stoic attitude, particularly among Conservative staff members. ‘‘Everyone is unemployed now,” several joke.

The Conservative Party is trailing 21% points behind Labour in the most recent election polls. New Conservative seats in Northern England, which were won by Boris Johnson in 2019, are projected to swing back to Labour in the upcoming election leaving many Conservative staff members unemployed.


The information provided by this Site is for general informational purposes only. All information on the Site is provided in good faith, however we make no representation or warranty of any kind, express or implied, regarding the accuracy, adequacy, validity, reliability, availability or completeness of any information on the Site.

More News

3 hours ago Federal Reserve Sees Progress on Inflation, Adjusts Rate Cut Expectations The Federal Reserve has adjusted its forecast for rate cuts this year, citing persistent inflation despite recent progress. High borrowing costs are expected to linger, impacting consumers and the broader economy.
4 hours ago Bitcoin Holds Steady as Fed Maintains Interest Rates: A Sign of Economic Caution In a cautious move, the U.S. Federal Reserve opted to keep interest rates unchanged, causing Bitcoin to hold its ground. Read more about the economic implications and market responses here: "The Committee judges that the risks to achieving its employment and inflation goals have moved toward better balance over the past year."
7 hours ago High-Stakes Showdown: Tesla Shareholders Decide on Elon Musk’s $56B Pay Package Tesla shareholders are set to cast their votes on Elon Musk's controversial $56 billion compensation package, a decision that could have far-reaching consequences for the company.
10 hours ago USDMXN: A Golden Opportunity USDMXN: A Golden Opportunity Amid Mexican Election Sell-Off, Says Steno Research Analyst
1 day ago EU's New Tariffs on Chinese EVs Hit Tesla and BYD Stocks! Tesla (TSLA) and BYD (1211) Stocks Plummet After EU Tariff Announcement
1 day ago Macro Mondays: Escaping the TRAP of Sideways Markets Andreas Steno, Mikkel Rosenvold And Mads Eberhardt talk macro and crypto
1 day ago EU launches trade war with China In a bold move that has sent ripples through global markets, the European Union has effectively launched a trade war against China. This decision, announced just three days after the European Parliament elections, raises significant questions about the influence and timing of the EU’s legislative body.
1 day ago July Bloodbath: Metals Set for Major Crash? Brace yourselves for a tumultuous July in the metals market! Industry experts are sounding the alarm as cluster risks in metals like gold, silver, and copper threaten a significant downturn. Here's why July could spell disaster for metal investors.
1 day ago 5 Stories To Invest in for Emerging Markets 5 Stories that might interest you if you're into investing in Emerging Markets