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Labour’s Keir Starmer Set to Assume UK Prime Ministership

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Sir Keir Starmer is poised to become the UK’s first Labour prime minister since 2010 following his party’s resounding victory in the general election. Labour secured a commanding parliamentary majority of 174 seats, marking a significant shift in political fortunes with a sharp decline in support for the Conservatives.

The official appointment by the King at Buckingham Palace later today will see Sir Keir replace Tory leader Rishi Sunak, who, in his address outside No 10, pledged to remain party leader until formal succession arrangements are finalized. Sunak expressed regret to unsuccessful Tory candidates and acknowledged public discontent, stating, “I have heard your anger, your disappointment.”

Sir Keir is expected to commence the formation of his new cabinet on Friday afternoon, with its inaugural meeting scheduled for Saturday. Labour’s electoral success comes on the heels of a dramatic 20-point drop in Conservative support, resulting in the party losing 250 seats, bringing their tally to a historic low of 121 seats.

This victory marks a remarkable turnaround for Sir Keir’s party, which suffered its worst seat count in decades under his predecessor, Jeremy Corbyn, in 2019. Despite a modest 2% increase in the national vote share, Labour has secured 412 seats, with just two constituencies yet to declare, falling just short of Tony Blair’s historic 179-seat majority in 1997.

The increase in Labour’s vote share was largely driven by a notable 17-point surge in support in Scotland, where it reclaimed its position as the largest party, contrasting sharply with the SNP’s reduced representation from 48 to nine seats. The election also saw gains for smaller parties, with the Liberal Democrats achieving their best result in a century with 71 seats, and Nigel Farage’s Reform UK securing four MPs following a breakthrough night.

Sir Keir campaigned cautiously, making few new policy commitments while maintaining a consistent polling lead over the Tories since outgoing PM Rishi Sunak called the election in May. Despite the overall triumph, Labour experienced losses in some former strongholds to independent candidates advocating pro-Gaza policies. Notably, shadow minister Jonathan Ashworth lost his seat in Leicester South, and shadow health secretary Wes Streeting saw his majority in Ilford North drastically reduced.

Labour’s manifesto focused on revitalizing the UK’s economic growth, primarily through reforms to the planning system and enhancing attractiveness for foreign investment. However, amidst challenging economic conditions, the party acknowledges the complexities of restoring public finances. Additionally, Labour has pledged significant reforms to UK employment law, extensive railway nationalization, and the establishment of a state-owned energy investment and generation company, alongside substantial investments in green initiatives.