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Labour defeat – Keir Starmer likely to be new PM

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This marks the end of 14 years of Conservative rule in Britain. The election looks set to be the worst for the Conservative Party since its founding in 1834.

Great mood: Keir Starmer counts votes on Friday night. REUTERS/Claudia Greco

“The people have spoken, and they are ready for change,” Labour leader Keir Starmer says in a speech just after 4pm on Friday.

Starmer, originally a human rights lawyer, has just been re-elected to Parliament for his north London constituency.

He is now set to become the next prime minister to move into No. 10 Downing Street, the Guardian writes.

“You voted, now it's our turn to act,” he says.

  • Throughout Friday night, the results of one local election after another came in across the UK, with the overwhelming majority going to the Labour Party.
  • When the first results from Scotland came in just before 4pm last night, there were also two Labour victories.

Election day polls suggest Labour will win 410 seats, compared to 131 for current Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his Conservative Party.

The Conservative Party had 346 MPs when Prime Minister Rishi Sunak dissolved the House of Commons in May and called a new election.

– An electoral collapse like we've never seen before, says Sky News business editor Ed Conway of the sudden drop in support for the party.

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“If this poll is correct, this is a historic defeat for the Conservatives,” Kieran Pedley, research director at Ipsos, which is behind the poll, told Reuters.

Change of power: Keir Starmer (Labour) and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak (Conservatives) during a BBC debate at the end of June. Photo: PHIL NOBLE/AFP/NTB

Voters want change.

While many countries in Europe are experiencing a right-wing wave, Britain is therefore moving in the opposite direction.

Labour, which has moved to the centre under Starmer, has promised to restore fiscal responsibility to British politics, a trait often associated with the Conservatives.

Dissatisfaction with the Conservatives runs deep: they came to power shortly after the global financial crisis and had to deal with rising debt and economic austerity.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his wife Akshata Murthy on their way to a polling station in Kirby Sigston on Thursday. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/EPA/NTB

Oyvind Bratberg, a senior lecturer in the Department of Political Science at the University of Oslo, was not surprised by the disastrous Conservative election.

– Rishi Sunak faced a particularly difficult starting point for writing the election. His government still carries the burdens of its predecessors: Boris Johnson’s excesses during the pandemic and Liz Truss’s game of chance with the economy, he told NTB.

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Sunak’s own project has been about delivering services in specific areas—finance, health queues, and unwanted immigration. And when that doesn’t work either, the result is a deepening distrust among British voters, notes Bratberg, who has long followed British politics closely.

Keir Starmer believes Labour's success is a result of a lack of trust.

– A large percentage of voters want change – an improved economy, more housing, and better public services, Bratberg points out.

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Faraj can get a seat

The Liberal Democrats also appear to have made a good choice. According to the poll, they are likely to get 61 representatives.

“It looks like we’ve won more seats than any other parliamentary election in the last 100 years,” says leader Ed Davey in a press release.

For the eighth time, Brexit general Nigel Farage is trying to get an elected seat in the House of Commons.

According to an election day poll, things could go his way, with the far-right Reform Party forecast to win 13 seats.

Read also: Politician who bet on losing election: 'Won' scandal, ban and £100k

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