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Thu, 18 July 2024

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By Ben Guerin
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New PM Keir Starmer Leads Labour To Landslide Victory

Keir Starmer is now UK Prime Minister after a landslide election victory (Alamy)

5 min read

Keir Starmer has officially become the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, after the Labour Party won the 2024 General Election in a historic landslide.

What you need to know: 

  • Keir Starmer has become Prime Minister as Labour achieves one of its best ever General Election results, telling the nation he will govern with "stability and moderation".
  • Rishi Sunak announced his resignation as prime minister outside Downing Street on Friday morning, saying he had heard the public's "anger" and "disappointment".
  • The Tories faced their worst ever defeat. Senior Conservatives including former PM Liz Truss, Defence Secretary Grant Shapps, Leader of the House Penny Mordaunt, Education Secretary Gillian Keegan, and Justice Secretary Alex Chalk have lost their seats.
  • Reform UK leader Nigel Farage has won in Clacton, and Lee Anderson won the party another seat in Ashfield with 17,062 votes, a majority of 5,509 with Labour in second place. The party took a huge bite out of the Tory vote share and took five seats in total.
  • The Liberal Democrats won 71 seats, while the SNP lost dozens of seats on a disastrous night. Independent candidate and former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has held onto his seat in Islington North. 

Keir Starmer is now Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, telling voters the new Labour government would "deliver change, to restore service and respect to politics".

In his first speech as prime minister on Downing Street, Starmer said: "Politics can be a force for good. We will show that we changed the Labour Party to return into service, and that is how we will govern. Country first, party second.

"I invite you all to join this government of service in the mission of national renewal."

Labour broke the 400-seat barrier on a historic night for the party. Speaking in Central London overnight, Starmer said: "We did it. You campaigned for it, you fought for it, you voted for it, and now it has arrived. Change begins now. And it feels good."

He added: "We said we would turn the page, and we have today. We start the next chapter in the work of change, mission of national renewal, and start to rebuild our country."

Sunak made a resignation speech outside Downing Steet on Friday morning before heading to Buckingham Palace to formally confirm his departure.

He said the election result had “sent a clear signal that the government of the United Kingdom must change”. 

He apologised to many dozens of Conservative candidates who had lost their contests, and said that he would step down as party leader, but “not immediately”.

Both leaders offered gracious words to one another in their speeches in Downing Street: Sunak said Starmer was a "decent public-spirited man whom I respect", and Starmer said Sunak had shown "dedication and hard work" as the country's first Asian prime minister. 

This is what the next Parliament is looking like in terms of seats by party so far:

On a devastating night for the Conservatives, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Grant Shapps and Penny Mordaunt were among the biggest Tory names to lose their seats, though Jeremy Hunt, the former Chancellor, managed to hang on, as did former Foreign Secretary James Cleverly. Eleven Cabinet ministers suffered defeat. Liz Truss, the former prime minister, lost her seat by just a few hunded votes.

The landslide win for Labour, which puts the party well over the 326 MP threshold required to form a government, reflects the party's large leads in the polls for the many months leading up to the 4 July General Election.

However, Labour faced issues with independent candidates splitting the left-wing vote. Shadow Paymaster General Jonathan Ashworth lost his seat in Leicester South to an independent candidate in one of the shocks of the night. 

In Chingford and Woodford Green, former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith held onto his seat after former Labour and now independent candidate Faiza Sheehan split the vote with Labour.

Labour's Shadow Culture Secretary Thangam Debbonaire also lost to Green Party co-leader Carla Denyer in Bristol Central.

Reform UK won their first seat of the night in Ashfield, with former Conservative MP Lee Anderson holding on to the constituency having defected from the Tories earlier this year. The party will be delighted with its showing as it tore into the Conservative vote share: it won four seats with 4,073,607 votes, more than UKIP achieved in 2015 with 3,881,099.

Here are the results of the 2024 General Election so far:

After a disastrous night for the SNP, in which it lost dozens of seats, Scottish First Minister and SNP leader John Swinney congratulated Keir Starmer on his victory.

"This tough night adds to what has been a difficult period for the SNP," he said, adding that he intended to stay on in his role.

Houghton & Sunderland South was the first constituency to declare its results, with Labour winning with 18,847 votes. Reform UK came in second place with 11,668 votes. It was one of numerous seats in the so-called 'Red Wall' where Reform dislodged the Tories to become the main challenge to Labour.

The first seat to change hands was Swindon South, where the Conservative candidate Robert Buckland, who was previously Welsh Secretary and Justice Secretary, lost his seat to Labour.

In Rochdale, Workers Party candidate George Galloway has lost to Labour's Paul Waugh. Galloway won a by-election earlier this year after the then-Labour candidate Azhar Ali lost the support of his party.

This is how the General Election results in 2019 compared: 

This article will be updated until all the seats are declared.

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