UK’s Labour set to sweep into power with huge majority, exit poll shows

Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Keir Starmer and his wife Victoria Starmer walk outside a polling station during the general election in London, Britain, July 4. Reuters-Yonhap

Keir Starmer will be Britain’s next prime minister with his Labour Party set to win a massive majority in a parliamentary election, an exit poll on Thursday indicated, forecasting Rishi Sunak’s Conservatives would suffer historic losses.

Centre-left Labour was on course to capture 410 of the 650 seats in parliament, an astonishing reversal of fortunes from five years ago when it suffered its worst performance since 1935.

The result would give Labour a majority of 170 and would bring the curtain down on 14 years of increasingly tumultuous Conservative-led government.

“To everyone who has campaigned for Labour in this election, to everyone who voted for us and put their trust in our changed Labour Party – thank you,” Starmer said on X.

Sunak’s party were forecast to only win 131 seats, the worst electoral performance in its history, as voters punished them for a cost-of-living 스포츠토토존 crisis, and years of instability and in-fighting which has seen five different prime ministers since the Brexit vote of 2016.

The centrist Liberal Democrats were predicted to capture 61 seats while the right-wing populist Reform UK party, headed by Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage who had pledged to destroy the Conservative party, was forecast to win 13.

The prediction for Reform was far better than expected, and the party comfortably took second place behind Labour in the first two seats to declare their results, pushing the Conservatives into third place.

“Much of the damage to the Conservative Party tonight is being done by Reform, even if it is the Labour Party that proves to be the beneficiary,” John Curtice, Britain’s most respected pollster told the BBC.

However, the exit poll suggests overall British voters have shifted support to the centre-left, unlike in France where Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally party made historic gains in an election last Sunday.

It was not just the Conservatives whose vote was predicted to have collapsed. The pro-independence Scottish National Party was forecast to win only 10 seats, its worst showing since 2010, after a period of turmoil which has seen two leaders quit in little over a year.

In the last six UK elections, only one exit poll has got the outcome wrong. Official results will follow over the next few hours.

“If this exit poll is correct, then this is a historic defeat for the Conservative Party, one of the most resilient forces that have we have seen in British political history,” Keiran Pedley, research director at Ipsos, which carried out the exit poll, told Reuters.

“It looked like the Conservatives were going to be in power for 10 years and it has all fallen apart.

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