Labour Party To Win U.K. Election In Landslide, Exit Polls Show

The center-left Labour Party is projected to win Thursday’s U.K. general election, exit polls show.

The exit poll’s result appears consistent with voter surveys for the past two years: Conservatives are trailing Labour by double digits.

The center-right Conservative Party has governed Britain for the past 14 years, but voters frustrated with the decline of public services, the cost-of-living crisis and the flurry of political scandals plaguing the party seem ready to embrace change.

The Labour Party is expected to win 410 seats, while the Conservatives are expected to win 131, according to Sky News. The Liberal Democrats scored 61 seats, 13 went to Nigel Farage’s right-wing Reform U.K. party, and the Scottish National Party and Greens won 10 and two seats, respectively.

If the result holds, Keir Starmer is set to become the country’s new prime minister. Starmer took over the Labour Party in April 2020 after he won an intra-party contest to succeed former leader Jeremy Corbyn, who resigned following the party’s poor performance in the 2019 general election. (Corbyn ran as an independent candidate in this year’s election).

Starmer, a former human rights lawyer and prosecutor, served as shadow Brexit secretary under Corbyn. Starmer opposed Britain’s decision to leave the European Union but said he wouldn’t try to rejoin the 27-member bloc if elected.

Rishi Sunak, the leader of the Conservatives, appears to have failed to change the trajectory of the race despite calling a summer election he hoped would improve the party’s prospects. A series of campaign blunders, including his decision to leave D-Day celebrations in Normandy early to sit for an ITV interview, earned him more bad headlines.

Meanwhile, the surprise decision of Farage, a figure close to former President Donald Trump, to enter the race as a candidate and become leader of Reform U.K. looked likely to further diminish the Conservatives’ voter share.

A defeat for the Conservatives would be a stunning reversal of the 2019 general election map, where the party under the leadership of Boris Johnson got 43.6% of the vote, defeating Labour by nearly 12 percentage points.