Keir Starmer set to become UK's new PM as his Labour Party wins majority in Parliament

Keir Starmer is set to become Britain's next prime minister after his Labour Party hurled towards a landslide majority on Friday in the parliamentary elections and dealt a bruising defeat for incumbent premier Rishi Sunak's Conservative Party
Britain's next PM Keir Starmer
Britain's next PM Keir Starmer

London | Keir Starmer is set to become Britain's next prime minister after his Labour Party hurled towards a landslide majority on Friday in the parliamentary elections and dealt a bruising defeat for incumbent premier Rishi Sunak's Conservative Party.

As Labour crossed the halfway mark of 650 constituencies to clinch the minimum 326 required for a majority in Parliament, Starmer, 61, stepped up to make his victory speech in London just hours away from formally becoming the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

"We did it, you campaigned for it, you fought for it, you voted for it and now it has arrived, change begins now," declared Starmer to a cheering crowd, promising that the work begins right away.

He pledged “national renewal” following 14 years of Conservative rule.

However, Starmer cautioned that having “a mandate like this comes with a great responsibility.” Meanwhile, the country's first British Indian prime minister comfortably held on to his own Richmond and Northallerton seat in northern England with 23,059 votes but failed to turn things around for his party at a national level.

A sombre-looking Sunak, 44, was joined by his wife Akshata Murty as his future as a member of Parliament was decided and chose to use his acceptance speech to also admit his party's defeat in winning another term in government.

"The Labour Party has won this general election and I have called Sir Keir Starmer to congratulate him on his victory," said Sunak, acknowledging the “sobering verdict” handed to his party and taking "responsibility for the loss".

He pledged to “continue to serve” his constituents for the “weeks, months and years ahead” and stressed that the transfer of power at Westminster will take place in a “peaceful and orderly manner with goodwill on all sides”.

With some of the most prominent ministers and MPs including Grant Shapps, Penny Mordaunt and Jacob Rees Mogg losing the election, the results are being dubbed a “bloodbath” for the Conservatives.

Among the new Tory MPs included British Indian candidate Shivani Raja who beat Labour's candidate, former deputy mayor of London Rajesh Agrawal, in the closely watched Leicester East constituency.

Earlier, Keir Starmer won his own seat of Holborn and St. Pancras in London with 18,884 votes and was mobbed by his supporters who could see he was on course to being named Prime Minister.

"The change begins right here. Because this is your democracy, your community and your future. You have voted. It is now time for us to deliver," said Starmer, in his acceptance speech.

While the customary election night exit poll forecast 410 seats for the Opposition party, the outlook as the trends and results tally takes shape is pegging it around 408 seats with the Tories pushed down to around 150.

The Liberal Democrats are also among the big winners of this election, set to bag over 50 members of Parliament. Meanwhile, the Scottish National Party (SNP) which fought on the Independence for Scotland ticket was on course to lose several seats to Labour.

However, a major trend that will dominate the discourse in the coming weeks and months will be Nigel Farage finally being elected as an MP at his eighth attempt and leading his anti-immigration Reform UK to bagging first-time seats in the Commons.

The Reform leader overturned a 25,000 Conservative majority to take Clacton in Essex by more than 8,000 votes, reflective of a wider trend of the party eating into the Tory votes.

Farage, a divisive figure, dubbed his win as the "the first step of something that is going to stun all of you", describing it as the “beginning of the end” of the Conservative Party.

"There is a massive gap on the centre-right of British politics and my job is to fill it," he declared.

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