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Sir Keir Starmer set for No 10 as exit poll forecasts Labour landslide

04 Jul 2024 3 minute read
Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer with his election battle bus. Photo
Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Sir Keir Starmer is on course for Downing Street as an exit poll indicated his Labour Party will sweep to power.

The Labour leader will become prime minister on Friday with a commanding majority in Parliament, the exit poll for broadcasters suggested.

Rishi Sunak’s term as Prime Minister looks set to end in electoral disaster, with the Conservatives forecast to endure heavy losses.

It marks a dramatic turnaround since the 2019 general election, when Boris Johnson won the Tories a healthy 80-seat majority and Jeremy Corbyn led Labour to its worst result since 1935.

The exit poll suggests Labour is on course for 410 seats, with the Tories reduced to 131.

Civil war

It will mean a Labour prime minister in No 10 for the first time since 2010 and the Conservatives facing a possible civil war as the fight for the future direction of the party and the battle to potentially replace Mr Sunak gets under way.

After 14 years in power it was always going to be a difficult election for the Conservatives, but the sometimes shambolic campaign – triggered at a time of Mr Sunak’s choosing – has contributed to their party’s likely defeat.

From the rain-drenched speech announcing the surprise July 4 poll, through the D-Day debacle as he left Normandy early to record a TV interview to confused campaign messaging about a Labour “supermajority”, Mr Sunak struggled to convince the electorate he was the right man to lead the country.

Going for a summer election rather than waiting until the autumn was always a gamble, and the Prime Minister was not helped by the scandal of Tory candidates and officials allegedly heading to the bookies armed with inside knowledge of the date.

Mr Sunak is expected to resign after leading his party to defeat, but many of the contenders jostling to replace him are nervously awaiting their own constituency results to see if their leadership dreams survive the night.

The likes of Penny Mordaunt, Grant Shapps, Suella Braverman, Steve Baker and Robert Jenrick all face battles to return to Parliament.

Former home secretaries Suella Braverman and Dame Priti Patel, security minister Tom Tugendhat and Health Secretary Victoria Atkins could survive to fight for the leadership.

170 majority

The exit poll suggested Labour would have a majority of 170, with the forecast indicating the lowest number of Tory MPs on record.

The poll suggested the Liberal Democrats will win 61 seats, Reform UK on 13 and the Green Party two.

In Scotland, the SNP are expected to secure 10 seats with Plaid Cymru in Wales on four.

Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey said his party was “on course for our best results in a century, thanks to our positive campaign with health and care at its heart”.

 


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