Labour Party set to win UK election in landslide victory, exit polls show: Live updates


Labour leader Keir Starmer makes first speech: ‘Change begins right here’

Britain’s Labour Party leader Keir Starmer delivers a speech after winning his seat for Holborn and St Pancras in London early on July 5, 2024 as polls close in Britain’s general election. 

Justin Tallis | Afp | Getty Images

Labour leader Keir Starmer — the likely next prime minister of Britain — has made his first comments after exit polls suggested a landslide victory for his party.

“Tonight people here and around the country have spoken. And they’re ready for change,” he said.

“To end the politics of performance. A return to politics as public service. You have voted, it is now time for us to deliver.”

He spoke after winning his seat — Holborn and St. Pancras in London — with 48.9% of the vote.

— Katrina Bishop

Pro-Palestinian firebrand George Galloway loses seat after just a few months

ROCHDALE, England – Feb 29: Workers Party of Britain candidate George Galloway speaks after being declared the winner in the Rochdale by-election on February 29, 2024.

Christopher Furlong | Getty Images News | Getty Images

After winning a chaotic by-election just months ago, George Galloway has lost the parliamentary seat of Rochdale.

Labour won with 32.9% of the vote, to Galloway’s Workers Party of Britain’s 29% share.

On Feb. 29, the controversial former Labour politician won a by-election, giving his party its first-ever Member of Parliament in Britain’s House of Commons.

Galloway ran a campaign heavily focused on the plight of Palestinians, appealing to the Muslim voters that make up around 30% of the local electorate, many of whom voiced anger about the war in Gaza and the failure of the country’s two main parties to push for an immediate ceasefire.

— Katrina Bishop and Elliot Smith

Reform UK wins first parliamentary seat

Reform UK won its first seat in Britain’s 2024 general election, taking the East Midlands constituency of Ashfield from the Conservatives.

Reform’s Lee Anderson secured 42.8% of the vote, followed by Labour’s Rhea Keehn with 29%.

Exit polls indicate that the right-wing populist Reform party could gain 13 seats in this election — after winning none in the 2019 vote.

— Katrina Bishop

Labour’s Rachel Reeves holds seat, set to become first female chancellor

Labour’s Rachel Reeves, shadow finance minister, has held her seat with 49.3% of the vote.

It means she’s set to become Britain’s first-ever female chancellor (the equivalent of a U.S. Treasury secretary).

In a post on X following the result, she said: “It is an honour and a privilege to be returned as the Member of Parliament for Leeds West and Pudsey. You have put your trust in me. And I will not let you down.”

— Katrina Bishop

What will Labour do in office?

Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and Deputy leader, Angela Rayner, attend an event to launch Labour’s election pledges at The Backstage Centre on May 16, 2024 in Purfleet, United Kingdom. 

Leon Neal | Getty Images News | Getty Images

After 14 years in opposition, the Labour Party is near-guaranteed to win a sizeable majority in the next parliament, according to exit polls.

Many of its senior figures, including party leader Keir Starmer, deputy leader Angela Rayner and finance chief Rachel Reeves, have never served in government.

In a manifesto released in June, the party said it would focus on “wealth creation” and “economic growth.” Reeves, who has long been on a charm offensive with the British business community, has repeatedly stated she will prioritize fiscal discipline in all policymaking.

The party’s flagship pledges include the creation of a new publicly owned energy company, a ban on awarding new North Sea oil and gas licenses, reducing patient waiting times in the strained National Health Service, and renationalizing most passenger rail services.

It also plans to raise money for public services by cracking down on tax loopholes for so-called nondomiciled individuals, removing tax breaks for independent schools, closing what has been described as a “tax loophole” for private equity investors, and raising taxes on the purchases of residential properties by non-U.K. residents. It said it would make additional green investments through a “time-limited windfall tax” on oil and gas firms.

The party said it would recognize a Palestinian state, calling statehood “the inalienable right of the Palestinian people.” 

— Jenni Reid

Nigel Farage: ‘We’re going to win seats, many, many seats’

Reform UK leader Nigel Farage.

Evelyn Hockstein | Reuters

Leader of Reform UK Nigel Farage said the gains his party has seen so far are “almost unbelievable.”

Speaking after the earliest official results put Reform in second place, the populist Brexiteer noted this outcome was “way more” than anyone expected.

“What does it mean? It means we’re going to win seats, many, many seats,” he said in a video post on X.

“Mainstream media are in denial, just as much as our political parties. This is going to be 6 million votes plus. This vote is huge.”

Of the six constituencies that had called results at the time of writing, Reform was in second place with 23.8% of the vote — a 14 percentage point increase on 2019. Exit polls put the party’s seats at 13.

— Katrina Bishop

Rachel Reeves expected to become Britain’s first-ever female finance minister

Labour’s shadow chancellor of the exchequer Rachel Reeves.

Dan Kitwood | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Labour’s shadow finance minister Rachel Reeves is expected to become the U.K.’s first female chancellor, which she said would be a “huge privilege.”

Speaking to Sky News, Reeves said she was under “no illusions about the scale of the challenge” she will face” if she does take up the role. Labour is forecast to win a landslide victory in the U.K.’s general election, and Reeves is also expected to hold her seat.

“The severity of the inheritance from the Conservatives is truly awful. But we will get to work, starting to rebuild our economy, returning stability to the economy, and improving our health service and our schools after 14 years of chaos, division and decline,” she said.

Reeves has long been on a charm offensive with the British business community, repeatedly stating she will prioritize fiscal discipline in all policymaking.

— Katrina Bishop

‘Shy Reformers coming out in droves’ with Reform UK set to make major gains

Honorary President of the Reform UK party Nigel Farage gestures during a press conference in London, Britain, June 3, 2024. 

Maja Smiejkowska | Reuters

Along with a huge vote for Labour and severe losses for the Conservatives, one of the major themes of the night so far has been the apparent gains by Reform UK.

It is forecast to win 13 seats and has significantly increased its vote share in early seats that have been declared.

The populist, right-wing party with a hardline stance on immigration was born out of the Brexit Party, which was founded by Nigel Farage and focused on calling for a “no-deal Brexit” between 2016 and 2021. After the completion of the Brexit process, it campaigned on issues such as opposition to Covid lockdowns.

The Brexit party did not win any seats in the 2019 general election.

Farage, who has served in the European Union parliament (on a pro-Brexit stance) but repeatedly failed to win a seat in the U.K. legislature, stepped down as party leader in March 2021. After previously stating he would not stand as an MP in 2024 in order to focus on supporting Donald Trump’s U.S. presidential campaign, he reversed course in June and said he would both stand and resume his role as Reform UK leader.

Numerous analysts argued that the return of the well-known figure would boost the party at the expense of the Conservatives.

David Bull, co-deputy leader of Reform UK, told the BBC during overnight vote counting that pollsters had underestimated the party’s support, as they had with the number of people who would back a Brexit vote.

“I think what you’re seeing is actually the shy Reformers coming out in droves. We saw this with Brexit didn’t we, the shy Brexiteers, so the pollsters were caught off-guard and once again they’ve been caught off guard,” Bull said. “If that is true and we win 13 seats that is extraordinary.”

A “shy” voter refers to someone who does not reveal in polls which way they will eventually vote.

— Jenni Reid

How accurate are exit polls?

Exit polls have a strong track record of getting it right in Britain.

Investec notes they have correctly called the largest party (Conservatives) in the last four elections, with a mean absolute error of the overall majority of just 11.

“Exit polls ask the way that voters have actually voted in contrast with polls published during the campaign, which model voting intentions,” Investec U.K. chief economist Philip Shaw wrote late Thursday.

“One can expect the actual outcome to be reasonably close to the [exit poll] figures … With tactical voting perhaps more widespread than in previous elections however, perhaps one should not be too confident about this.”

Rob Wood, chief U.K. economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, issued a note of caution, however, highlighting that in 1974, exit polls overestimated Labour’s seats by 61. In recent history — over the last 30 years — the largest exit poll mistake came in 2019, when the Conservative’s seats were underestimated by 15, Wood added.


After the first few results are announced before midnight London time, Investec said it expects a “particularly busy period of declarations between 03.00 and 04.00 a.m.”

“A full set of results is expected by 07.00 tomorrow morning, although this may be delayed by recounts in various constituencies,” Shaw wrote. “One further complication could arise if postal votes having been sent out late in certain areas were to lead to challenges by candidates who lost by a narrow margin.”

He added that currency markets have hardly reacted, given the forecasted result was widely expected. “What will matter more to markets, ultimately, is what a Labour government chooses to do if and when it takes office.”

— Katrina Bishop

Who is Labour’s Keir Starmer?

Labour Leader, Sir Keir Starmer (C) gestures as he delivers a stump speech to supporters during a campaign visit to Hucknall Town Football Club on July 2, 2024 in Nottingham, United Kingdom. 

Christopher Furlong | Getty Images

Keir Starmer is on course to be the U.K.’s new prime minister, with exit polls suggesting his left-of-center party could have a majority of around 170 seats.

He will take the post from Rishi Sunak, who was elected between general elections by members of his Conservative Party in 2022.

Starmer, 61, has had a rapid political ascent after entering U.K. parliament less than a decade ago. But many Brits still know little about the man who has positioned himself as the country’s candidate for change.

Starmer was born in 1962 in London, England, to a father who worked as a toolmaker and a mother who worked as a nurse. A barrister (or trial lawyer), he served as a human rights adviser during former Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair’s landmark Northern Ireland Good Friday Agreement, and in 2008 became the head of the U.K.’s Crown Prosecution Service.

Starmer was knighted in 2014 for his services to criminal justice and was elected to Parliament the following year, serving as shadow immigration minister and Brexit minister for the opposition.

Read the full story here.

— Karen Gilchrist

First seat of the election called for Labour

The first seat of the 2024 general election has been called for Labour in the constituency of Houghton and Sunderland South.

Bridget Phillipson, Labour’s education chief, was declared the first member of the U.K.’s new parliament. She said that if exit polls were correct, “then after 14 years, the British people have chosen change.”

Labour held the Houghton and Sunderland South seat, but the candidate for the Nigel Farage-led Reform UK party made a significant gain on its 2019 result (when it was called the Brexit Party), leapfrogging the Conservatives into second place.

Several constituencies in northern England race to be the first to declare in a general election.

In the 2017 and 2019 votes, Newcastle took that honor with announcements in less than 90 minutes of polls closing. Between 1992 and 2015, Sunderland was the first to declare its seat.

— Jenni Reid

Major damage done to Conservatives by smaller parties, polling expert says

An exit poll predicting that Reform UK led by Nigel Farage will get 13 seats in Britain’s general election is projected onto BBC Broadcasting House in London on July 4, 2024.

Oli Scarff | Afp | Getty Images

The scale of the projected Conservative loss stems from smaller parties’ gains as well as Labour’s challenge, polling expert John Curtice told the BBC.

The seat forecast shows how the national share of the vote has “moved decisively against the Conservatives,” he said.

“Support for the Conservatives is falling much more heavily in places where they are trying to defend a seat than it is in places that Labour already hold,” he said.

“It’s not because Labour are doing spectacularly better in Conservative-held seats, it’s because Reform are. Much of the damage done to the Conservative Party tonight is being done by Reform, even if it is the Labour Party that proves to be the beneficiary.”

Reform UK is the populist right-wing party led by Nigel Farage.

He also noted that although there has not been a massive rise in overall Liberal Democrat support, the party is doing better in seats where it was challenging the Conservatives, he continued, cautioning that the patterns shown by the polls may not be exactly accurate.

“Although it looks like an election in which Labour win a landslide, it does not follow that this necessarily means Labour have got a landslide in terms of votes,” he told the BBC.

— Jenni Reid

Scotland’s SNP set to suffer huge loss of seats

The Scottish National Party is set to secure only 10 seat in British parliament, exit polls suggest — down from 48 seats in 2019.

It comes after a period of turbulence for the pro-Scottish independence party.

Former leader Humza Yousaf Yousaf resigned in April after serving as Scotland’s first minister for a little over a year, taking over from longstanding leader Nicola Sturgeon, who announced her surprise resignation in February 2023. Sturgeon was being investigated by police as part of a probe into party finances, and her husband Peter Murrell was charged with embezzlement earlier this year.

John Swinney took over the party leadership earlier this year.

— Katrina Bishop

Why this could be a historic election result

Members of the media look at the exit polls on TV at the Richmond and Northallerton count centre in Northallerton, north of England, on July 4, 2024 as polls close in Britain’s general election. 

Darren Staples | Afp | Getty Images

The result of the 2024 U.K. general election is still in the realm of projection — but is being widely described as historic.

That’s in part because of the likely electoral swing for the Labour Party. To win even a narrow majority, Labour needed a bigger gain in parliamentary seats than that achieved by Tony Blair in 1997. Its projected 170 majority means it is on course to have seen an unprecedented upswing.

Exit polls put it on 410 seats, up from 202 in the most recent general election in 2019.

However, due to the rise of smaller parties, Labour may have achieved a smaller share of the vote than in 2017 under leader Jeremy Corbyn, when the party failed to win but narrowly prevented a Conservative majority.

Exit polls give the ruling Conservative Party just 131 seats, a slump from 365 in the last election and its lowest number in post-war history.

— Jenni Reid

‘This is a massacre’

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party leader Ruth Davidson speaks during a general election campaign visit to a removals depot in Edinburgh, Scotland, on June 5, 2017. Britain goes to the polls on June 8 to vote in a general election only days after another terrorist attack on the nation’s capital.

BEN STANSALL | AFP | Getty Images

The former leader of the Scottish Conservatives, Ruth Davidson, told Sky News the result was a “massacre” for her party. But she said that exit polls suggested it wasn’t as bad as some had been expecting in the days leading up to the vote.

“There’s no dressing this up, this has been .. this is a massacre — it is a massacre,” she said.

-Matt Clinch

Vote counting begins

Ballot papers are tipped out onto a table by counting staff at the counting centre at Emirates Arena as the UK general election count begins on July 4, 2024 in Glasgow, Scotland. 

Jeff J Mitchell | Getty Images News | Getty Images

The manual counting of millions of ballots has begun across the U.K.’s 650 constituencies, with the first results to be declared imminently and announcements continuing through the night until Friday morning.

— Jenni Reid

Ruling Conservatives set to face a hammering: Exit poll

An exit poll predicting that the Labour Party led by Keir Starmer will win 410 seats in Britain’s general election is projected onto BBC Broadcasting House in London on July 4, 2024. Labour is set for landslide win in UK election, exit polls showed. 

Oli Scarff | Afp | Getty Images

The U.K.’s incumbent Conservative Party had been expected to lose power in Thursday’s election, but initial exit polls showed the staggering extent of the swing.

A poll conducted by Ipsos UK for Sky News, the BBC and ITV News indicates the 650 seats of the House of Commons will be split approximately as:

Labour: 410
Conservatives: 131
Liberal Democrats: 61
Reform: 13
Scottish National Party: 10
Plaid Cymru: 4
Green: 2
Other: 19

In the 2019 election, the Conservatives won 365 seats to Labour’s 202. The Lib Dems took 11 while Scotland’s SNP won 48.

— Jenni Reid

Exit poll points to landslide Labour victory

Exit polls released as voting closed in the election put Labour on course for a landslide victory, with the incumbent Conservatives facing a bruising defeat.

The poll, conducted by Ipsos UK for Sky News, the BBC and ITV News, points to Labour winning 410 seats out of 650, with the Conservatives on 131. Smaller parties look set for major gains, with the Liberal Democrats on 61 and Nigel Farage’s Reform UK on 13.

— Jenni Reid

First seat of the election called for Labour

The first seat of the 2024 general election has been called for Labour in the constituency of Houghton and Sunderland South.

Bridget Phillipson, Labour’s education chief, was declared the first member of the U.K.’s new parliament. She said that if exit polls were correct, “then after 14 years, the British people have chosen change.”

Labour held the Houghton and Sunderland South seat, but the candidate for the Nigel Farage-led Reform UK party made a significant gain on its 2019 result (when it was called the Brexit Party), leapfrogging the Conservatives into second place.

Several constituencies in northern England race to be the first to declare in a general election.

In the 2017 and 2019 votes, Newcastle took that honor with announcements in less than 90 minutes of polls closing. Between 1992 and 2015, Sunderland was the first to declare its seat.

— Jenni Reid

Big-name politicians hope to avoid ‘Portillo moment’

British former politician Michael Portillo, speaking at the Conservative Party conference in 2000. The parliamentarian lost his seat in the 1997 U.K. general election in a shock defeat that became known as a “Portillo moment,” indicating a swing in support to the opposing side.

Jeff Overs | Bbc News & Current Affairs | Getty Images

While an overall Labour victory has been forecast by pollsters, many seats are considered too close to call — including those of British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Finance Minister Jeremy Hunt.

There are around 120 of 650 seats where the margin of victory is expected to be lower than 5 percentage points, according to a projection model from the Financial Times.

Well-known politicians will be seeking to avoid what in British political lingo has become known as a “Portillo moment.” That is a reference to former Conservative politician Michael Portillo, who lost his seat in the 1997 general election to Stephen Twigg, his relatively unknown Labour opponent. Portillo, meanwhile, was a big name who had served as defense minister and was considered a potential future party leader.

The shock result was seen as emblematic of the swing in Labour’s favor, as the party won a landslide under Tony Blair against incumbent Prime Minister John Major.

— Jenni Reid

UK general election result in 2019

Under former Conservative leader Boris Johnson, the party won a majority of 365 seats in the last general election in 2019, to Labour’s 202 seats.

Turnout was 67.3%.

By the time parliament was dissolved on May 30 this year in order for the July 4 election campaign to begin, a range of political developments had left that split at 344 Conservative lawmakers to 205 for Labour.

— Jenni Reid

UK elects new parliament for first time in nearly five years

A woman walks past Roath Park polling station with her dog on July 4, 2024 in Cardiff, United Kingdom.

Matthew Horwood | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Millions of British citizens across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland on Thursday voted for their local representative in the House of Commons, the U.K.’s lower branch of parliament.

In typical British fashion, the weather was changeable and unseasonably cool during the nation’s first July general election since 1945.

The U.K. elects 650 Members of Parliament, known as MPs. According to longstanding convention, the prime minister is an MP appointed by the monarch who can “command the confidence” of the Commons — in practice, that is the leader of the party with the most seats.

Leader of the Labour Party Keir Starmer walks with his wife Victoria Starmer, as they arrive at a polling station to place their votes in the 2024 General Election.

Leon Neal | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Prospective MPs stand for election in one of the U.K.’s 650 constituencies. In a system known as “first past the post,” voters may only choose a single candidate from their local list, and the person with the most votes in each constituency becomes an MP.

Unlike in other voting systems, there are no second rounds or ranking of first- and second-choice candidates, meaning it can be difficult for smaller parties to translate an increased share of the popular vote into parliamentary seats.

Britain’s Prime Minister and Conservative Party leader Rishi Sunak arrives with his wife Akshata Murty to cast their votes at a polling station in Kirby Sigston, Northallerton, north of England.

Oli Scarff | Afp | Getty Images

Around 40,000 polling stations were open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursday, and one of the two main parties — Labour or the Conservatives — is expected to concede victory to the other sometime on Friday morning.

— Jenni Reid

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