U.K. election: Labour’s Starmer vows change after landslide win

Keir Starmer vowed to rebuild Britain as its next prime minister after his Labour Party on Friday surged to a landslide victory in a parliamentary election, ending 14 years of often tumultuous Conservative government.

The center-left Labour won a massive majority in the 650-seat parliament. Rishi Sunak’s Conservatives suffered the worst performance in the party’s long history as voters punished them for a cost of living crisis, failing public services, and a series of scandals.“We did it,” Starmer said in a victory speech. “Change begins now … We said we would end the chaos, and we will, we said we would turn the page, and we have. Today, we start the next chapter, begin the work of change, the mission of national renewal and start to rebuild our country.”

The election result has upended British politics. Labour won some 410 seats, an increase of 210, while the Conservatives, the western world’s most successful party, lost about 250 lawmakers, including a record number of senior ministers and former Prime Minister Liz Truss.

The Scottish National Party imploded, losing 38 seats, ending its own decade of dominance in Scotland and leaving its dream of independence for Scotland in tatters, while conversely the Irish nationalists Sinn Fein became Northern Ireland’s largest party for the first time.

Meanwhile, the populist right-wing Reform UK party, headed by Nigel Farage, the colorful Brexit campaigner and friend of Donald Trump, won more than four million votes.

While it secured only four lawmakers, its impact on the outcome by siphoning vast tracts of Conservative support will make Farage a major thorn in the side of the two major parties.

A glum Sunak said he would stand down as party leader. He was meeting King Charles to formally resign before Starmer is appointed in his place.“To the country I would like to say first and foremost I am sorry,” Sunak said in a final speech outside Downing Street.

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