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Work hard for the center and extreme conservatives

Work hard for the center and extreme conservatives

The first debate on British television between the Conservative and Labor candidates for the July 4 election showed the country’s political ruler tilting further to the right. Tuesday night’s event (4) saw Labor leader Keir Starmer put himself in the center and current Conservative prime minister Rishi Sunak flirted with far-right ideas.

All polls show the Conservatives trailing Labor by at least 20 points and still threatened by the rise of the British far-right. Analysts say the situation has pushed conservatives to more extreme positions, hardening anti-immigrant rhetoric.

On Monday, Sunak pledged to reduce the quota for work and family visas issued annually to reduce immigration. In Tuesday’s debate, he was aggressive in his attacks on Starmer, saying: “Other than raising taxes and robbing pensions, nobody knows what Labor will actually do,” he said.

Starmer said the party today is much less to the left than it was under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn (between 2015 and 2020) and that the party is no longer in favor of nuclear disarmament. “This Labor Party is fully committed to the defense of our nation, our armed forces and, in particular, our nuclear deterrent,” Starmer said.

Research by the Yougov Institute found Sunak the winner of the debate with 51% of those polled, with Starmer taking 49%. A second televised debate is scheduled for the 26th and analysts say Sunak is unlikely to overturn his disadvantage.

Possible failure

Surveys show that Labor intends to vote at around 45%, with the Conservatives at 20%. The party, which has been in power for 14 years, has lost many votes to the far-right in the form of Nigel Farage from the Reform UK party who is contesting the election.

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At his candidacy launch on Tuesday, Farage said he wanted to lead a “people’s army against the establishment”. He was shot by a banana milkshake thrown by a woman during an event in Clacton-on-Sea.

In addition to the growth of the far right, conservatives have suffered from terrible administrations such as Boris Johnson and controversial events such as the Brexit vote that decided the country to leave the European Union. Sunak, 44, was appointed prime minister in 2022, succeeding Lis Truss, who left the post after 49 days with a budget plan that sent panic into markets.

A former economy minister of Indian origin, he is the first head of government in the United Kingdom with Asian roots and the youngest in 200 years. Sunak has reduced inflation but has failed to deliver on promises such as sending political asylum seekers to Rwanda – while they wait for answers to their claims. His popularity is the lowest in the history of Prime Ministers of the country.

The Labor star is a human rights lawyer and, at 61, the next British prime minister. He has led the Labor Party since 2020.

Editing: Rodrigo DurĂ£o Coelho