Starmer’s Labour wins landslide

The Labour Party has secured a landslide victory in the UK election to end 14 years of Conservative rule.

“We did it!” Keir Starmer, the Labour leader and incoming prime minister, said in his victory speech.

“Change begins now.”

Outgoing Conservative Prime Minister Rishi Sunak concedes defeat, saying it has been a “difficult night”.

It has been an extraordinary night for the Labour Party and Kier Starmer, winning as handsomely as they have done – a three-figure majority.

We await the final figures, of course, but Starmer is projected to become the first opposition leader to lead his party in to government in 27 years, after Tony Blair in 1997.

He does so having restored Labour’s fortunes in just five years from 2019, moving it much closer to the centre with a vision of progressive liberalism.

The majority will allow him an even hand to do pretty much what he wants – and he has a long to-do list. It will be limited only by the money that is available. Number one on his list is to restore economic growth.

Prominent Labour politician loses seat to pro-Palestine candidate

Jonathan Ashworth, Labour’s shadow cabinet office minister, has lost his seat in central England to an independent pro-Palestine candidate.

Ashworth lost the Leicester South seat to Shockat Adam by just under 1,000 votes.

Adam described his victory as an “indication to those that have been in power for so long that you cannot forget the people you serve” and added, “this is for the people of Gaza”.

There have been several seats in the northeast of England where Reform was the second largest party in that constituency, after Labour, and in some cases, way ahead of the Conservatives.

These votes don’t always translate into parliamentary gains and seats because of Britain’s first-past-the-post system.

But it has been a huge success for Farage who has now, in his eighth attempt, been selected for a seat in parliament.

It was only four weeks ago that he announced that he will be standing in this race.

He has really played on the issue of immigration, doubling down on it in this general election, and there have been seats in Tory and Labour heartlands where the Reform party vote has been exceptionally high.

And Farage has actually vowed to give Labour trouble in the months and years ahead as he takes his seat in parliament.

New Zealand’s prime minister congratulates Starmer

Christopher Luxon said he looked forward to working with Starmer and thanked Sunak for his friendship to New Zealand.

When will the new PM be in place?

After conceding defeat, Sunak is expected in the coming hours to formally tender his resignation to King Charles.

Starmer, the leader of the winning party, will then meet the monarch, who will request he form a government.

The incoming prime minister usually then heads to Downing Street to make a speech to the British public.

The new leader will begin appointing government ministers, starting with senior positions and moving on to more junior roles over the coming days.

It’s very clear that the country is not in love with Keir Starmer, that the country is not in love with the Labour Party in the same way that it was for Tony Blair in 1997. This is an election that has been lost by the Conservatives as much as it has been won by the Labour Party.

When the final number of votes are counted, I think we’re going to see that the turnout is lower for this election that it has been in elections recently, signifying that there is widespread anger, apathy towards the main parties, the Conservative Party and to a lesser extent, the Labour Party.

That is reflected also in the surge in support for smaller parties – the Liberal Democrats are doing particularly well at the moment and Reform UK – the party headed by Nigel Farage – it’s certainly doing well. Maybe not as well as the Liberal Democrats in terms of seats, but it might well end up being the third most popular party by vote share.

Now the United Kingdom’s electoral system often doesn’t reward those who do well with vote share with actual seats in parliament and that might well be the case for Reform.

But in terms of their influence on discussions and the agendas that get talked about in the media and in parliament, Nigel Farage and his populist right-wing, anti-immigrant, anti-European party is going to be setting a lot of the talking points, a lot of the agenda.

‘We are going to be beat in Scotland, and we are going to be beat well’
The Scottish National Party (SNP) has had its worse showing in more than a decade, projections showed.

It is predicted to get only between 6-11 of 57 contested seats, the party’s lowest since the six it won at the 2010 British parliamentary election.

“We are experiencing something that we have not experienced in quite some time. We are going to be beat in Scotland, and we are going to be beat well,” the SNP’s Westminster leader Stephen Flynn said after retaining his own seat.

Labour, meanwhile, is projected to win a big majority in the British parliament overall, and has thus far won 15 out of 20 seats in Scotland, its most since the 41 won under the leadership of Gordon Brown, a Scot, in 2010.

The results are seen as derailing a Scottish independence push, as the SNP had said that winning a majority of Scottish seats would give it an impetus to pursue independence talks.

The SNP had dominated the British parliament’s Scottish seats since 2015. But it has been embroiled in turmoil, with two leaders who quit in a little over a year and a police investigation into the party’s finances, and splits.

Starmer, meanwhile, has ruled out another independence referendum. Recent polling has indicated that Scots favour remaining part of the UK by a narrow margin.

Liz Truss loses her seat

The former prime minister has lost her seat of South West Norfolk by just over 600 votes, to Labour.

Truss became the country’s shortest-serving leader, at just 44 days, when she caused a bond market meltdown and a collapse in sterling in 2022.

Truss secured 11,217 votes behind 11,847 votes for Labour candidate Terry Jermy.


Tories facing ‘fundamental debate’ after election calamity

Diamond has also told Al Jazeera that the Conservatives are about to enter a long period of self-reflection following their dismal election showing.

“It will be very difficult and no doubt in the months ahead there will be recriminations and arguments about why they’ve lost just so badly,” he said.

“There will be a big debate in the party about fundamentally, did the Tories make a mistake by moving away from the kind of centrist, moderate politics that we saw under leaders like David Cameron, or did they make a mistake by trying to become another version of Reform by having very harsh positions on issues like immigration as well as Europe?”

Diamond concluded: “I think we’ll see in the months ahead a really fundamental debate about what British conservatism is for and how it needs to change in order to be relevant to the Britain of today – not 20 or 30 years ago.”

Source: Al-Jazeera

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