Labour victory

Starmer wins big majority, Tories and SNP routed

Sir Keir Starmer with his wife Victoria outside Number Ten

UPDATED 6th July: Sir Keir Starmer has been elected to lead a Labour government with a huge majority as the Conservatives and the SNP saw their vote collapse and Reform won five seats on a historic night.

Labour won 412 seats (up 211), the Conservatives 121 (down 250), the Liberal Democrats 72 (up 64 including a late result on Saturday) and the SNP just 9 (down 39). All six Glasgow seats switched from the SNP to Labour.

It means Sir Kier has turned the worst result for Labour since the war in 2019 into its best. If confirmed it will be biggest landslide since 1832 with a majority of 174.

“We did it. You campaigned for it, you fought for it, you voted for it. We can look forward again,” said Sir Keir as Labour’s victory was confirmed.

Sir Keir Starmer: ‘We did it

Tory leader Rishi Sunak announced his resignation, triggering a leadership race.

Former Prime Minister Liz Truss, who was in Downing Street for just seven weeks in 2022, lost her South West Norfolk seat as 44 former ministers were defeated.

At the eighth time of asking Nigel Farage finally enters the Commons after winning the Clacton seat on a good night for Reform. He said there was no enthusiasm for Labour, with the electorate voting against the Conservatives. “We are coming for Labour, be in no doubt about that,” he said.

Sir Keir Starmer and his wife Victoria greet supporters in Downing Street

The leader of the Scottish Conservatives Douglas Ross narrowly lost his North and Moray East seat to the SNP. But it was a bad night for the nationalists with Joanna Cherry and deputy Westminster leader Kirsten Oswald among those to lose.

The Liberal Democrats enjoyed one of their best ever nights, seeing their vote surge as many voters switched from the Tories.

Commons leader Penny Mordaunt and former minister Jacob Rees-Mogg are among senior Tories to have been rejected by voters. Jeremy Hunt, Chancellor in the last government, hung on to win.

Tory losers: Liz Truss and Jacob-Rees Mogg

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”.

Tory losers: Douglas Ross and Penny Mordaunt

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

A big surprise for Labour was the defeat of Jonathan Ashworth. Former leader Jeremy Corbyn triumphed as an independent.

Douglas Alexander, a former Labour minister, was elected in East Lothian and is expected to be handed a big role in government.

Back in the fold: former Labour minister Douglas Alexander (pic: Terry Murden)

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 SNP leader John Swinney‘s strategy for independence which appears to have had little support on a night that also left Alex Salmond‘s Alba party empty-handed. Alba gathered less than 1% of the vote and lost its deposit in each of the constituencies where it fielded candidates.

Nigel Farage’s right-wing Reform party recorded 165,045 votes in Scotland, 14 times more than the 11,784 who voted for Salmond’s breakaway nationalists.

Kenny MacAskill, who served as justice secretary in Salmond’s government, came eighth in the newly created Alloa & Grangemouth seat with just 638 votes.

His former colleague, Neale Hanvey, came seventh in the Cowdenbeath and Kirkcaldy constituency, securing 1,132 votes.

It means that Ash Regan, who defected from the SNP is now Alba’s only parliamentarian as its leader in Holyrood.

Swinney sticks to independence goal, Sunak triggers Tory race

Markets buoyant

London was 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 opened in positive territory having risen by almost 1% on Thursday during polling day.

The blue-chip index, which dipped 0.5%, or 37.33 points, to 8,203.93 on the day, only fell into the red after the release of the latest US jobs data. It was 0.5% higher over the week.

The value of the pound rose by 0.4% against the dollar to $1.28 and was 0.2% higher against the euro at €1.18. 

Following confirmation of the election result, Dan Coatsworth, investment analyst at AJ Bell, said: “Investors priced in the impact of Labour winning the 2024 election long ago, thanks to the polls having implied a landslide win for the party throughout the six-week campaign.

“Markets have taken the prospect of a Labour government with equanimity, given the party’s manifesto promises not to jack up taxes and what feels like a charm offensive towards the City.

“A 160% return from the FTSE 100, including dividends, since Cameron led the Conservatives back into power, up to Rishi Sunak’s potential last day, is not to be sniffed at. However, the Conservative’s chequered relationship with business and free markets over the past 14 years has made it easier for markets to contemplate a different regime.

“The Tories’ run of five prime ministers since 2010 will go down in history as a period where the government took an increasingly interventionist approach to the economy, given initiatives like sugar taxes, Help to Buy, energy price caps, windfall taxes on North Sea oil producers, 2021’s National Security and Investment Act and proposals for changes to the 2005 Gambling Act under the recent review.”

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