Labour Party Wins Landslide U.K. Election for First Time Since 2005, Establishing New Prime Minister

The United Kingdom has a new government and with it, a new prime minister

Published Time: 05.07.2024 - 12:31:13 Modified Time: 05.07.2024 - 12:31:13

The United Kingdom has a new government and with it, a new prime minister.

In a historic turnaround, the Labour Party won the keys to No.10 Downing Street on Thursday, July 4, with around 35% of the vote and an estimated majority of 170 seats in the House of Commons.

The ruling Conservative Party fell short in the election under outgoing Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, with the Liberal Democrats under Sir Ed Davey placing third.

Speaking on Friday morning, Starmer said “a weight has been lifted” from the U.K. by the election. He added that Labour party workers should “enjoy this moment" of victory but added that their landslide mandate also "comes with great responsibility."

"Walk into the morning, the sunlight of hope, pale at first but getting stronger through the day, shining once again, on a country with the opportunity after 14 years to get its future back," Starmer added at the Tate Modern art museum in London.

In repsonse, Sunak said that he took "responsibility" for the Conservative party's heavy loss, calling the night of results "difficult".

"Today power will change hands in a peaceful and orderly manner, with goodwill on all sides," he added. "The British people have delivered a sobering verdict tonight. There is much to learn and reflect on."

On Friday, July 5, Sunak will travel to Buckingham Palace to meet King Charles and formally resign as Prime Minister. Shortly afterward, Starmer will also visit Charles and officially form a new British government.

The last Labour Party leader to win a U.K. general election was Tony Blair in May 2005 — when George W. Bus -

h was in the White House, Star Wars Episode III - Revenge of the Sith topped the box office, and Mariah Carey released "We Belong Together."

Since Blair's successor Gordon Brown was defeated in May 2010, the U.K. has been governed by the Conservative Party under the premierships of David Cameron, Theresa May, Boris Johnson, Liz Truss and Sunak.

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While the Conservatives have traditionally been seen as a safe pair of hands, their reputation was rocked by the revelation that multiple parties were thrown inside Downing Street at a time when Johnson had placed the U.K. population under stringent COVID-19 lockdowns and social distancing rules.

In September 2022, Truss also did serious economic harm to the U.K. economy with a disastrous mini-budget described as “inept madness” by a senior member of her own party.

While Sunak steadied the ship, his election campaign was hit by multiple problems from the outset with him first announcing the election in heavy rain outside of Downing Street and then making the mistake of leaving the D-Day 80th anniversary celebrations early in May 2024 — and missing a key photo opportunity with President Joe Biden, President Emmanuel Macron of France and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

Most recently, members of Sunak's inner circle were accused of using their inside knowledge to illegally place bets on the date of the election in the days before he made the announcement.

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