UK General Election Result Update

Following yesterday’s UK General Election, it is now confirmed that the Labour Party will form a majority Government. As predicted by recent polling, this represents a landmark victory for Labour, with Sir Keir Starmer only the fourth Labour Leader to take the party from Opposition to Government. At the time of writing, the Labour Party has won 411 seats – with a historic increase of 210 seats from their seat share in the last Parliament. Labour’s parliamentary dominance will now be on a similar scale to Tony Blair’s 1997 administration.

That said, the election results paint a much more complicated picture than the figures initially suggest. When looking at overall vote share, Labour has received a modest 33.9% of the vote as things stand, compared to a 43.2% Labour vote share in the landslide 1997 victory. Labour has a strong mandate to govern, but this is clouded by an uneasy sense of an electorate whose loyalties are increasingly unstable.

These 2024 General Election results perhaps most faithfully reflect a vote of dissent against the previous Conservative Government – who are currently sat with 119 seats, representing a huge loss of 249 seats. The Conservative Party are internally relieved that their ‘worst case scenario’ has not been met, and that they remain the second largest party and will form the Official Opposition. But this undoubtedly represents a disastrous result for the Conservatives, and the leadership contest to replace Rishi Sunak will commence soon.

The other story of this election was the significant role of the smaller parties, with a wide range of regional issues and voting dynamics coming to the fore. This left an inconsistent voting pattern across the country and will mean a broad representation of smaller parties in the new parliamentary term. In fact, the House of Commons will welcome the highest number of independent MPs since 1950.

The Lib Dems saw a dramatic resurgence to form the third largest party – putting a significant dent in the Conservative seat share, particularly in the South West, Surrey, and Hertfordshire. Meanwhile, the electoral impact of Reform at this election cannot be understated, taking votes away from both Labour and the Conservatives in key marginal seats. Whilst Reform have only won four seats, including Nigel Farage being elected as MP for Clacton, they received over 4 million votes, and this had wide-reaching implications on the night. This particularly impacted the Conservatives, where in Conservative-Labour marginals the Reform vote share repeatedly resulted in Labour victory, and in the former ‘red wall’ (seats gained by the Conservatives in 2019), the Tories often fell into third place behind Labour and Reform. As a result, multiple well-known figures and members of the Cabinet such as Penny Mordaunt, Jacob Rees-Mogg, and Liz Truss all lost their seats.

The demise of the SNP must also be noted, losing 38 seats and leaving the Scottish Nationals with a disappointing total of nine seats – and in doing so, significantly bolstering Labour’s parliamentary majority with its resurgence in Scotland.

What’s next?

Looking ahead to the rest of the day, we are expecting Rishi Sunak to formally tender his resignation to King Charles III in the coming hours, before vacating Downing Street. It is thought that the new Prime Minister, Sir Keir Starmer, will then proceed to appoint his Cabinet later today from Number 10.