LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Wednesday set July 4 as the date for a national election that will determine who governs the U.K., choosing a day of good economic news to urge voters to give his governing Conservatives another chance.

Speculation about an imminent election had mounted throughout the day after Sunak called a Cabinet meeting for Wednesday afternoon – rather than the usual Tuesday – and Foreign Secretary David Cameron flew back early from a trip to Albania to attend.

Sunak’s center-right party has seen its support dwindle steadily after 14 years in power. It has struggled to overcome a series of crises including an economic slump, ethics scandals and a revolving door of leaders in the past two years.

The center-left Labour Party is strongly favored to defeat Sunak’s party.

He is the third Conservative prime minister since the last election in 2019. He took office through party selection in October 2022 after the turbulent terms of Boris Johnson – felled by ethics scandals – and Liz Truss, who caused economic turmoil with unfunded tax cuts.

Sunak managed to steady the economy, but without boosting the Conservatives’ popularity with the public.

He may take heart from figures released Wednesday showing inflation in the U.K. fell sharply to 2.3%, its lowest level in nearly three years on the back of big declines in domestic bills.

The drop in April marks the greatest progress to date on five pledges Sunak made in January 2023, including halving inflation, which had climbed to above 11% at the end of 2022. Sunak hailed the figure as a sign his economic plan was working.

Labour said “the country is crying out for a general election so would urge the prime minister to get on with it.”

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