Keir Starmer set to be U.K. PM as Labour trounces Tories in election

The Labour Party has put an end to 14 years of successive Conservative governments in the United Kingdom after a landslide win in Thursday’s general election that will give the center-left party a commanding parliamentary majority and make its leader Keir Starmer the country’s next prime minister.

At the time of writing, Labour had secured at least 410 seats in the 650-seat House of Commons, well above the 326 required for a majority as voters decided to give a chance to what Starmer calls a “changed Labour Party” that has sought to rid itself of its hard-left and socialist elements.

“A mandate like this comes with a great responsibility,” he said after his party won at least 212 more seats than during the last general election in 2019. Thursday’s showing was Labour’s best election performance since Tony Blair’s win in 1997.

The 61-year-old Starmer described the tasks of his future government as “nothing less than renewing the ideas that hold our country together.”

“We have to return politics to public service,” he said, adding his government will “show it can be a force for good.”

In contrast, the Conservatives, led by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, suffered one of their worst defeats, winning 119 of the seats at the time of writing, a loss of 249 seats compared with 2019. The tally is the lowest-ever total number of seats in the Tories’ history as voters punished the ruling party for a myriad of economic and social issues affecting the country.

Not only did the party fail to win any seats in Wales, key members of the Tory government also lost their seats, including Defense Secretary Grant Shapps and Education Secretary Gillian Keegan, as well as former minister Jacob Rees-Mogg, a leading Brexiteer.

While Sunak was able to hold on to his parliamentary seat, his fate as Tory leader is unclear after the election left the party in disarray. The polls outcome is expected to spark an internal leadership contest as the Conservatives enter a period of soul searching.

“The British people have delivered a sobering verdict tonight,” Sunak said as he conceded defeat. “There is much to learn and reflect on and I take responsibility for the loss.”

Tina Burrett, a professor of political science at Sophia University in Tokyo, said the results are an indication of public anger at 14 years of “Tory mismanagement.”


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