Labour Party returns to Downing Street after 14 years and wins large majority in British Parliament

The center-left Labour Party won the British Parliamentary elections in the early hours of Friday (5 July 2024), with 33.9% of the vote. The Conservative Party, led by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, obtained 23.7% of the vote. Polls closed at 10 pm (6 pm Brasília time). When this text was published, the vote count was underway.

With that percentage, the Labour Party won 410 of the 650 seats in Parliament, surpassing the absolute majority of 326 seats needed to appoint a prime minister. Keir Starmer, 61, the Labour leader, will take over as prime minister.

According to the partial results, the Tories (as members of the Conservative Party are known) are expected to win just 119 seats, a significant drop from the 365 seats won in 2019, and the party’s worst defeat in decades.

Reform UK (formerly the Brexit Party), led by Nigel Farage, won 14.3% of the vote and 4 seats. The party is led by Nigel Farage, the main figure behind the Brexit campaign. With the UK’s exit from the EU (European Union), the party began to grow among right-wing voters.

The Thursday (July 4) election was brought forward by Sunak in May in a desperate attempt to save his direct majority in Parliament. At the time, the prime minister said he had sped up the vote to see whether the British wanted to encourage his plans for economic progress or trust a new government.

The Conservative Party’s era in power began with a coalition government led by David Cameron, followed by Theresa May, Boris Johnson, Liz Truss and Sunak. Since 2021, the party has been in decline attributed to instability, internal disagreements and controversies.

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Labour leader is front-runner to replace Prime Minister Rishi Sunak

Labour’s wide margin of victory suggests that Starmer’s election campaign, marked by meetings with voters across the country, has been well received by Britons. He will replace Sunak as prime minister, becoming the first Labour leader in the role in 14 years, since Gordon Brown (2007-2010).

You campaigned for it, you fought for it, you voted for it, and now it’s time. Change starts now.,” Starmer said at a victory rally. “It feels good, I have to be honest. That’s what a changed Labour party, ready to serve our country, is for.

The new British Prime Minister cited the “great responsibilities” of the mandate and said that his party will promote a “national renewal”.

We must return politics to public service, show that politics can be a force for good. Make no mistake, this is the great test of politics in this age. The fight for trust is the defining battle of our era.”, he added.

Starmer has represented the London boroughs of Holborn and St Pancras in the House of Commons since 2015. A lawyer and former director of public prosecutions for England and Wales, he was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath in 2014. After Labour’s defeat in 2019, he took over as leader of his party and the opposition to the Conservative government.

A defender of policies such as increased investment in public services, the abolition of university fees and measures against tax evasion by large corporations, Starmer strengthens the social welfare discourse promoted by the Labour Party.


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