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June 28, 2024

News diary 1 – 7 July: Election day in UK and France, SCOTUS considers Trump immunity

A look ahead at the key events leading the news agenda next week, from the team at Foresight News.

By Foresight News

A look ahead at the key events leading the news agenda next week, from the team at Foresight News.

Leading the week 

Rishi Sunak came out swinging in the final TV debate of the campaign on Wednesday, repeatedly calling on voters to not ‘surrender’ to Labour as he picked fights with Keir Starmer over border controls, taxation and welfare.

But despite an improvement in his personal performance, the status quo remains and the prospect of Sunak and his party overturning a daunting poll lead for Labour looks remote.

Despite the best efforts of Ed Davey and Nigel Farage over the last six weeks, this election has always been a straight fight between Labour and the Tories, and with just five days of campaigning left until voters go the polls on Thursday (July 4), it looks highly likely that we’ll have a change of government for the first time in 14 years. 

There are, however, many variables in play that could still shape the next government’s ability to operate effectively. When the dust settles and all the votes have been counted, will the results on Friday (July 5) give Keir Starmer the much-discussed supermajority that will allow him to focus on delivering his “moral missions” and driving wealth creation across the country? For this to happen, Labour needs to not only regain its former Red Wall constituencies and overturn large majorities in previous Tory strongholds, but also pick up enough seats in Scotland to demonstrate its unionist credentials. 

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Many Labour MPs are facing the prospect of losing votes in constituencies where the party’s stance on the Israel-Hamas conflict has been poorly received, while Reform candidates are desperate to unseat incumbents in several northern seats. The Farage effect could see his party taking seats off both Labour and the Tories and becoming an alternative opposition in Parliament, while the Lib Dems are hoping to capitalise on Davey’s campaign heroics and some well-targeted announcements on health and social care to return a strong liberal bloc for the first time since the coalition years – though Davey has downplayed suggestions the party could even form the official opposition.  

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And what becomes of a broken Conservative Party? Rishi Sunak said last month he would remain an MP for five years if he’s ousted as prime minister, but it’s hard to imagine there being much support for his leadership if the party’s losses are as heavy as the projections.

Given the pre-election manoeuvring to replace Sunak, the prospects seem high of a fourth leadership election in five years taking place in short order. There’ll be no shortage of candidates to take over from Sunak and reshape the party in opposition, with Kemi Badenoch and Penny Mordaunt likely to throw their hats into the ring alongside some more left-field contenders – as long as they all keep their seats. The good news for all involved is that a potential contest could drag on until autumn after a fun-sounding summer of reflection

Fans at SW19 may well be getting their last glimpse of British former Wimbledon champion Andy Murray as the tournament returns on Monday (July 1). The Scot has signalled his intention to retire from the game after the Paris Olympics this summer and was hoping to play his last grand slam at his home ground. But multiple injuries, including emergency spinal surgery, have left his chances of playing at 50/50. With Rafael Nadal also missing Wimbledon through injury and Roger Federer’s retirement, this year’s tournament could represent a proper changing of the guard, after Carlos Alcaraz defeated seven-time champion Novak Djokovic in the final last year. 

On the women’s side of the draw, Emma Raducanu carries British hopes after a good run at Eastbourne saw her thrash contender Sloane Stephens in straight sets. Hot on her tail is Katie Boulter, who defeated Raducanu and fellow Brit Harriet Dart to win the Nottingham Open. Favourite to win this year’s women’s tournament is Belarussian Aryna Sabalenka, who was vocal last year about the need for tennis authorities to clarify the absence of handshakes between Ukrainian and Belarussian or Russian players after Ukrainians were booed for refusing the traditional post-match shake. Sabalenka also drew criticism for declining to answer questions about politics after being asked about support for Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko during last year’s French Open. 

Looking abroad 

After the US Supreme Court confirmed it was extending its term into next week, a decision could now come on Monday (July 1) in the blockbuster case over Donald Trump’s claim of immunity from prosecution over his alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election. The unusual move to extend the term into July has led to speculation that the crucial ruling will be left until the last day, though it could also come when opinions are handed down this afternoon or even later next week if more opinion days are scheduled. 

During arguments at the end of April, the justices appeared inclined to reject Trump’s claim to absolute immunity from prosecution. But the court’s conservative majority seemed receptive to arguments that certain official conduct by a president might indeed require immunity, prompting suggestions of a ruling that could delay the trial beyond November. Whatever the court rules, its decision will further ratchet up tensions in the run up to what is fast becoming one of the most contentious elections in America’s history, particularly after Thursday’s CNN debate led to frenzied speculation that Joe Biden could be forced to drop out of the race over his dismal performance. 

The all-important second round of France’s snap elections takes place on Sunday (July 7) with Emmanuel Macron’s decision to dissolve parliament looking riskier by the day. The far-right Rassemblement National is leading polls going in to the first round this Sunday (June 30), followed by the far-left Nouveau Front Populaire bloc, with the Macron-supporting Ensemble bloc trailing in third place. Technically, any candidate gaining more than 12.5% of votes can choose take part in a second round of voting, but Ensemble will face tremendous pressure to withdraw their candidates to reduce the chances of an RN majority in parliament. And a hung parliament appears a very real possibility, potentially triggering a period of political instability that would effectively render Macron a lame-duck president until his term ends in 2027.  

Hungary takes over the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union on Monday (July 1), putting Budapest in charge of the EU’s agenda for the next six months. The theme for its presidency is Make Europe Great Again, a characteristically unsubtle nod to Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s embrace of fellow strongman Donald Trump.

Orban, sometimes referred to as Europe’s enfant terrible, is widely viewed as Vladimir Putin’s closest ally in Europe, prompting concerns Hungary might use the influence that comes with the presidency to deprioritise talks on Ukraine’s accession to the bloc, which officially opened earlier this week. Orban’s recent vocal opposition to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s reappointment and the postponement of planned visit next week by von der Leyen and the College of Commissioners to Budapest to mark the start of Hungary’s presidency both suggest tensions between Hungary and the EU may be on full display over the next six months. 

Also look out for 

July 1 

  • Closing arguments due in Lucy Letby retrial 
  • Second tranche of hearings begin in Undercover Policing Inquiry 
  • Rape trial begins for rapper Slowthai 
  • Energy price cap changes take effect 
  • Orange parades in Northern Ireland 
  • Antony Blinken speech on US foreign policy 
  • Russia assumes presidency of the UN Security Council 
  • Deadline for Steve Bannon to report to jail 
  • France v Belgium & Portugal v Slovenia at Euro 2024 

July 2 

  • Court hearing in Nigel Farage milkshake case 
  • BMA junior doctor strikes end 
  • Jerome Powell speaks at ECB forum on Central Banking 
  • New Dutch cabinet sworn in 
  • Romania v Netherlands & Austria v Turkey at Euro 2024 
  • Brazil v Colombia at Copa America 
  • Henley Royal Regatta 

July 3 

  • Hearing to decide if Jeffrey Donaldson case proceeds to trial 
  • Final voting intention polls for the general election 
  • Taiwan representative to UK address to RUSI 
  • Netherlands parliament debate on new government 
  • Kazakhstan hosts Shanghai Cooperation Organization leaders’ summit 
  • First ever Esports World Cup begins 

July 4 

  • Sentencing for teacher who had sex with two boys 
  • Provisional anti-subsidy duties imposed in EU probe into Chinese EVs 
  • Nathan’s 4th of July hotdog eating contest 

July 5 

  • Euro 2024 quarterfinals start  
  • Sentencing for Deliveroo driver who bit customer’s thumb 
  • Azerbaijan summit for Turkic leaders 
  • Church of England General Synod 

July 6 

  • England could play in Euro 2024 quarterfinal 
  • Stop the War National March for Palestine 
  • First year-long stay ends for NASA’s Mars habitat 
  • Donegal Orange Order Parade 
  • New Zealand v England rugby international 

July 7 

  • Formula One British Grand Prix 
  • Deadline for US DOJ to pursue criminal charges against Boeing 
  • Drumcree Parish Orange Order service 
  • London Film and Comic Con 

Statistics, reports and results 

July 1 

  • Nationwide House Price Index 
  • UK manufacturing PMI 
  • UK Finance statistics on lending 
  • Bank of England money and credit 
  • Results from: ArcelorMittal 

July 2 

  • OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 
  • BRC-Nielsen Shop Price Index 
  • EU inflation flash estimate 
  • Results from: Sainsbury’s 

July 3 

  • UK services PMI 
  • Fed interest rate meeting minutes 

July 4 

  • UK construction PMI 
  • SMMT car sales figures 
  • Bank of England credit conditions survey 

July 5 

  • Halifax House Price Index 
  • BRC footfall monitor and economic briefing report 
  • US unemployment 
  • FAO Food Price Index 

Anniversaries and awareness days 

July 1 

  • Canada Day 
  • Alcohol Awareness Week (to July 7) 
  • Plastic Free July 
  • Ethnic Minority Cancer Awareness Month 
  • National Hot Dog Month (US) 

July 2 

  • World UFO Day 
  • 60 years ago: US Civil Rights Act signed 

July 3 

  • Belarus Independence Day 

July 4 

  • US Independence Day 

July 5 

  • Venezuela Independence Day 
  • National Bikini Day 
  • Action Mesothelioma Day 
  • 30 years ago: Amazon founded 

July 6 

  • Islamic New Year 
  • International Day of Co-operatives 
  • National Fried Chicken Day (US) 
  • George W. Bush turns 78 

July 7 

  • Thank You Day 
  • Three years ago: Haitian President Jovenal Moïse assassinated 
  • 11 years ago: Andy Murray won first Wimbledon title 

The news diary is provided in association with Foresight News.

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Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
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