Exit poll

Labour on track to govern with 170 seat majority

Starmer in Glasgow
Sir Keir Starmer: transformed Labour

Sir Keir Starmer will be elected to lead a Labour government with a majority of 170 seats, with the Conservatives losing 241 seats, the SNP vote collapsing and Reform winning 13 seats, according to an exit poll.

Labour is expected to win 410 seats, the Conservatives 131, the Liberal Democrats 61 (up 53) and the SNP just 10 (down 38). It means Sir Kier has turned the worst result since the war in 2019 into its best. If confirmed it will be biggest landslide since 1832.

Up to eight members of the Tory Cabinet are expected to lose their seats, although Jeremy Hunt, Chancellor in the last government, hung on to win.

Commons leader Penny Mordaunt and former minister Jacob Rees-Mogg are among senior Tories to have been rejected by voters.

Ms Mordaunt, who was tipped as a future Tory leadership contender, saw her majority of more than 15,000 overturned in Portsmouth North.

Mr Rees-Mogg, a former business secretary, lost in North East Somerset and Hanham, with Labour overturning his 16,000 majority.

He said he wouldn’t “blame anybody other than myself” and that it had been “a very bad night for the Conservatives”.

Defence Secretary Grant Shapps, Justice Secretary Alex Chalk and Michelle Donalan are among a clutch of other former ministers to lose their seats.

Speculation was mounting over the future of Rishi Sunak who has said he will stay on as leader despite growing calls for him to step down.

A big surpise for Labour was the defeat of Jonathan Ashworth who was expected to become the party’s Business Secretary.

The leader of the Scottish Conservatives Douglas Ross narrowly lost his North and Moray East seat to the SNP.

Nicola Sturgeon, former First Minister of Scotland speaking on ITV, said the vote was “seismic” for Labour, driven by a Tory collapse. She admitted: “This is not a good night for the SNP.”

Questions will now be asked about John Swinney’s strategy for independence which appears to have had little support on a night that also appears to have left Alex Salmond’s Alba party empty-handed.

London stocks remained in the green by the close, buoyed by optimistic market sentiment and hopes that the new government will be quickly followed by an interest rate cut next month.

The FTSE 100 index was up 70.14 points (0.86%), closing at 8,241.26 points, while the FTSE 250 climbed 0.39% to 20,610.34 points.

In currency markets, sterling was last up 0.14% on the dollar, trading at $1.2760, while it saw a slight decline of 0.08% against the euro to change hands at €1.1802.

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