UK election results: Live updates | CNN (2024)

Table of Contents
What we're covering The UK has a new political reality. Here's what you need to know Who is Rachel Reeves, the first woman to take the helm of Britain’s economy? Starmer names more senior cabinet positions Starmer appoints first female finance minister in UK history Starmer starts to name his cabinet, with Angela Rayner appointed deputy prime minister Reform UK’s Nigel Farage heckled and called racist at chaotic press conference Starmer and his wife enter 10 Downing Street for the first time What will Keir Starmer’s leadership mean for the world? How the return of Farage created a nightmare for the Tories Final results not expected until Saturday after recount in Scottish seat Meet Victoria Starmer, wife of new British Prime Minister Keir Starmer At the scene: Keir Starmer's first speech as PM Starmer pledges to steer UK toward "calmer waters" Starmer pledges to heal the "weariness in the heart" of Britain Starmer praises predecessor Sunak in first speech Starmer to make first address to nation as prime minister What is the King’s role in the election? Sunak lacked vision and experience, says leading PM biographer Starmer arrives at Buckingham Palace for audience with the King Green Party quadruples number of seats in strong showing Rishi Sunak formally tenders resignation to King Charles Starmer set for morning meeting with the King At the scene: Sunak's final speech as British prime minister “I have heard your anger,” Sunak says in contrite farewell speech BREAKING: Sunak pledges to step down as Conservative leader after landslide election loss Outgoing Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to address public from Downing Street Nationalist Sinn Féin party becomes largest Northern Irish party in Westminster parliament The UK’s transfer of power is an exercise of ruthless efficiency UK election marked by low turnout with some 40% of British voters skipping the vote Here is how one third of votes got Labour two thirds of seats in the Parliament World leaders congratulate Starmer on election victory The "fun" campaign that delivered a "record-breaking" night for the Lib Dems Sunak to address British public before tendering resignation to King Charles Pro-Palestinian independent candidates upset Labour in three constituencies Liz Truss loses her seat, an epic collapse for the short-lived former prime minister Record number of women elected to parliament In Scotland, SNP loses scores of seats, including several in capital city Conservative Party loses all its MPs in Wales PM Rishi Sunak and Chancellor Jeremy Hunt will return to parliament, but other prominent MPs have lost their seats "Change begins now," Keir Starmer tells victory rally in London Senior Conservative JacobRees-Mogg loses seat Labour has officially won the election Rishi Sunak concedes defeat, saying "Labour has won this election" Just 20 voters decided a crucial seat House of Commons leader Penny Mordaunt loses seatin most high-profile defeat so far Right-wing populist Nigel Farage becomes MP for the first time after winning in Clacton Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn defeats his old party standing as an independent Two Cabinet ministers lose seconds apart What the UK front pages are looking like Keir Starmer says "it is time for us to deliver" after winning seat Left-wing populist George Galloway loses his seat to Labour Populist Reform UK party wins its first seat of the night "I've watched colleagues say stupid things:" Furious backlash underway among Conservatives Starmer has "net unfavorability ratings" despite predicted landslide for Labour, expert tells CNN How Labour's "ming vase" campaign steered it to victory Labour’s projected victory is a personal triumph for Keir Starmer that once seemed impossible Labour will work with Trump if he becomes US president, UK's shadow foreign secretary says "The British people have chosen change:" Labour politicians react with delight to exit poll "This, folks, is huge." Farage celebrates exit poll and falsely criticizes media As Europe turns right, why is a center-left party projected to win by a landslide in the UK? Labour gains first new seat of the night, sweeping out a former Conservative minister in Swindon South A disastrous Conservative campaign puts the party on the brink of a worst-ever defeat In pictures: Labour Party leader Keir Starmer Labour win a second seat, and the Conservatives slump again The UK's exit poll is usually very accurate The first results from the night are in Exit poll projection of a Labour landslide has margins similar to Tony Blair's 1997 win “A massacre:” Senior Tories react to exit poll results How each party has fared in the exit poll Keir Starmer thanks voters and campaigners, as exit poll puts him on the cusp of power See the full exit poll results Labour will win 410 seats, exit poll projects, enough for a huge parliamentary majority BREAKING: UK'scenter-left Labour Party will win general election in a landslide, exit poll projects We're minutes away from the exit poll What is King Charles III's role in the election? What election day has looked like across Britain What to expect - and when - during election night in Britain Why can’t we report anything about the election yet? How does the UK’s general election work? Polls are closing soon in Britain’s general election References

By Rob Picheta, Lauren Said-Moorhouse, Billy Stockwell, Peter Wilkinson, Sarah Tilotta, Ivana Kottasová, Christian Edwards, Thom Poole and Jack Guy, CNN

Updated 2:01 PM EDT, Fri July 5, 2024

UK election results: Live updates | CNN (5)

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Keir Starmer has become the UK's 58th prime minister. Hear his first speech

06:59 - Source: CNN

What we're covering

  • Labour has won the UK general election in a landslide. The new Prime Minister, Keir Starmer, pledged to steer the country towards “calmer waters” in his first address to the nation. Starmer is starting to form his cabinet, appointing the UK’s first ever female finance minister.
  • The Conservative Party lost more than 250 seats, its worst-ever defeat,and now faces life in opposition. The outgoing PM, Rishi Sunak,pledged to resignas party leader.Several cabinet ministerslost their seats, as didformer PM Liz Truss.
  • Nigel Farage’s populist Reform UK party won its first seats and came second in many more, splitting the right-wing vote and contributing to the Conservatives’ losses.
  • The Liberal Democrats will be the third biggest party in parliament after its best result in years. The Greens made gains while the Scottish National Party suffered a collapse, losing nearly 40 seats, most of them to Labour.
  • See the full results here.

81 Posts

The UK has a new political reality. Here's what you need to know

UK election results: Live updates | CNN (6)

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak reacts after winning his seat at Richmond and Northallerton during the UK election in Northallerton, Britain, on July 5.

Britain’s new Prime Minister Keir Starmer has started to name his cabinet, including appointing Rachel Reeves as the country’s first ever female Chancellor of the Exchequer, or finance minister.

Earlier, the Labour leader made his first speech as prime minister, promising to steer the UK toward “calmer waters” during his time in office.

Here’s what you need to know:

Labour Party wins big: The center-left Labour won the election by a landslide, securing the biggest majority in its history. Party leader Starmer celebrated the victory in front of supporters at the Tate Modern art gallery in London. “Change begins now. It feels good, I have to be honest,” he said.

Handover of power complete: Sunak formally tendered his resignation to King Charles, before Starmer had his audience with the monarch, who asked him to form a government. Starmer then traveled to Downing Street to address the nation before he and his wife, Victoria, entered Number 10 for the first time.

Starmer promises change: In his first speech as prime minister, Starmer pledged to steer the UK toward “calmer waters” after 14 often turbulent years of Conservative rule. “You have given us a clear mandate, and we will use it to deliver change, to restore service and respect to politics, end the era of noisy performance, tread more lightly on your lives, and unite our country,” Starmer said.

Cabinet appointments: Starmer has announced a number of cabinet appointments, with Angela Rayner named deputy prime minister as well as Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, while Rachel Reeves is the first ever female finance minister in British history.

Sunak to step down: The outgoing prime minister said that he will leave his post as leader of the Conservative party in an address to the British public outside Downing Street. “I have heard your anger, your disappointment, and I take responsibility for this loss,” Sunak said after delivering the party’s worst-ever defeat.

Prominent Conservatives lose their seats: The Tories have had a tough night, suffering the biggest defeat since the party was formed. Among the top brass Conservatives losing their seats: the former (albeit short-lived) Prime MinisterLizTruss, House of Commons leader Penny Mordaunt, Defense Secretary Grant Shapps and Justice Secretary Alex Chalk.

Reform UK makes breakthrough: An insurgent rightwing populist party led by the Nigel Farage secured four seats, with Farage himself getting into the parliament for the first time – after running seven times in the past.

Liberal Democrats reborn: The Liberal Democrats were on course to secure their best result ever – and will return as Britain’s third-biggest party in Westminster. They unseated several high-profile Conservatives.

Greens quadruple their seats: The Green Party won four spots in the Parliament, gaining three more seats compared to the last election in 2019.

SNP wipeout: The Scottish National Party has suffered big losses in Scotland, likely putting the question of an independent Scotland to rest for now. Labour took a host of seats from the party.

Low turnout: Turnout is on track to be the lowest for more than 20 years. Of the seats declared by early Friday morning, turnout is hovering just below 60% – down from 67.3% at the last election in 2019.

Who is Rachel Reeves, the first woman to take the helm of Britain’s economy?

From CNN's Christian Edwards in London
UK election results: Live updates | CNN (7)

British Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves leaves BBC Broadcasting House following an appearance on the "Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg" programme on May 26, in London, England.

Rachel Reeves has been appointed by Keir Starmer as the UK’s new Chancellor of the Exchequer, or finance minister, becoming the first woman to hold the role.

The daughter of teachers, Reeves studied politics, philosophy and economics at Oxford University before taking a graduate job at the Bank of England, initially tasked with analyzing how Japan attempted to emerge from its period of stagnation in the 1990s.

Britain’s economy today faces a similar challenge. Since the financial crisis of 2008, Britain’s economic growth has mostly flatlined. The last time the average Briton went so long without a real-terms pay rise, Queen Victoria had not been born.

Labour made kickstarting economic growth a key mission. In a recent lecture, Reeves diagnosed the root of Britain’s economic ills.

Reeves said the years of political instability that followed was a product of the economic harm wrought by austerity. She called the failure to invest when the government could borrow cheaply “an act of historic negligence.”

Although Labour has been criticized for not making bolder tax-and-spend commitments – leading some to argue there is little difference between their plans for the economy and the Tories’ – Starmer’s government will face far more constraints than the Conservative government in 2010. After the surge in borrowing costs, Britain is much more fiscally constrained now than it was then.

Still, within these limits, Reeves has made a series of quietly radical promises. She calls her agenda “securonomics” – a homage to “Bidenomics” – an attempt to build secure supply chains to avoid future inflationary shocks.

To this end, Labour has also pledged to create two new economic institutions: a National Wealth Fund, aiming to rebuild Britain’s industrial strength and encourage private investment, and Great British Energy, a mission to create a publicly-owned clean energy company by 2030.

What is clear is that Labour is not promising overnight fixes to Britain’s malaise. Starmer and Reeves say they hope to embark on “a decade of national renewal.”

Starmer names more senior cabinet positions

From CNN's Jack Guy

New British Prime Minister Keir Starmer has appointed three more senior ministers to his cabinet.

David Lammy has been appointed foreign secretary, Yvette Cooper is the home secretary and John Healey is the defense secretary.

Starmer appoints first female finance minister in UK history

From CNN's Sugam Pokharel and Zahid Mahmood
UK election results: Live updates | CNN (8)

Newly appointed Chancellor of the ExchequerRachelReevesposes outside 11 Downing Street, on July 5.

British Prime Minister Keir Starmer has appointed Rachel Reeves as UK chancellor, making her the first woman to take charge of the Treasury.

Reeves said it was the “honor of her life” to be appointed as UK finance minister.

Reeves, a former Bank of England economist, said it was a “historic responsibility” to be appointed to the position and addressed other women and girls, saying there should be “no limits on your ambitions.”

There will also be a record number of female lawmakers in the new House of Commons when it returns, continuing a trend towards increasing female representation in parliament over the last few elections.

More than 260 female lawmakers have been elected to parliament. The previous record set was 220 in 2019.

Starmer starts to name his cabinet, with Angela Rayner appointed deputy prime minister

From CNN's Jack Guy
UK election results: Live updates | CNN (9)

Deputy leader of the Labour Party Angela Rayner enters 10 Downing Street following Labour's landslide election victory on July 5 in London, England.

British Prime Minister Keir Starmer has appointed Angela Rayner as deputy prime minister, his office announced in a post on X Friday.

Rayner will also serve as Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

Several senior Labour MPs have been seen entering Downing Street, where Starmer will name his cabinet.

Reform UK’s Nigel Farage heckled and called racist at chaotic press conference

From CNN's Angela Dewan in London
UK election results: Live updates | CNN (10)

Reform UK Leader Nigel Farage attends a press conference in London, England, on July 5.

Nigel Farage from the right-wing start-up Reform UK party was subjected to a barrage of heckling from protesters at a press conference that he called to celebrate his party’s election success.

Farage, known for his leadership in the UK’s Brexit campaign and his close ties with former President Donald Trump, won his first seat in parliament in Thursday’s vote, along with at least three others from the Reform party.

As he tried to address journalists and supporters, several hecklers shouted abuse, including one that said he was racist.

Farage and his party have vowed to freeze illegalmigration and “stop the boats,” in reference to migrants who arrive in the country by sea, usually across the English Channel.

Farage shouted, “Boring, boring, boring,” to drown out hecklers’ remarks as his supporters cheered and security officials ejected the protesters from the room.

He took a jibe at newly-elected Prime Minister Keir Starmer, saying that, although Labour won by a landslide in terms of seats in parliament, the popular vote showed the party’s win was not a resounding victory.

Despite the Labour landslide, Starmer’s party only increased its vote share by a few percentage points from its dismal 2019 showing.

UK election results: Live updates | CNN (11)

A heckler gestures as Britain's Reform UK Party Leader NigelFaragespeaks to the media, in London, England, on July 5.

Starmer and his wife enter 10 Downing Street for the first time

From CNN's Christian Edwards in London

After making his first address as Prime Minister, Keir Starmer and his wife, Victoria, entered 10 Downing Street for the first time, greeted by staff and civil servants on Friday.

UK election results: Live updates | CNN (12)

Newly elected Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer with his wife Victoria Starmer are clapped in by staff as they enter his official London residence at No 10 Downing Street for the first time on July 5.

UK election results: Live updates | CNN (13)

Newly elected Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer with his wife Victoria Starmer enter his official London residence at No 10 Downing Street.

What will Keir Starmer’s leadership mean for the world?

Analysis by Luke McGee, CNN

Ever since the UK voted to leave the European Union in 2016, there has been a perennial debate about Britain’s place in the world.

There are some who believed that Brexit would lead to the UK having a diminished voice on the world stage, despite still being a permanent member of the UN Security Council, a G7 economy and a nuclear power.

It’s hard to quantify exactly how much power any country has, but arguably the biggest hinderance to the UK’s international influence has been the domestic political chaos and instability since 2016.

The logic goes that if you cannot provide certainty at home, what you say on international issues doesn’t carry much weight.

Diplomats often point to the relative stability of a country like Ireland, whose political consistency, particularly on foreign affairs, affords its diplomats disproportionate heft, compared to say Australia, who went through a period of political instability which saw it lose influence.

It’s not an exact science, but political stability matters to your allies. Starmer can now as good as guarantee five years of consistency to the world, which will mean his views on foreign affairs can be taken seriously.

On Ukraine, Starmer is expected to maintain the UK government’s support.

He has said Israel has a right to defend itself, but it is expected that he will come under pressure to restrict arms sales if they are being used to commit war crimes.

He has said that he wants to improve the UK’s relationship with Europe, but has ruled out rejoining the EU or any of its institutions.

How the return of Farage created a nightmare for the Tories

From CNN's Christian Edwards in London
UK election results: Live updates | CNN (14)

Reform UK leader Nigel Farage speaks to supporters during a campaign event at Rainton Arena in Houghton-le-Spring, Sunderland, England, on June 27.

After Britain left the European Union in 2020 – a cause he had championed for three decades – Nigel Farage retreated from frontline politics. When his fledgling Brexit party renamed itself as Reform UK, he slunk into the role of party chairman – still a political force, but a dormant one.

Just weeks ago, it looked set to stay that way. Farage initially said he would not stand in this election, and that he would instead “help with the grassroots campaign” in the US, presumably to try to reelect former President Donald Trump.

This came as a relief to the Conservatives, who had long feared losing their more right-wing voters to Reform. But, lacking a recognizable leader, Reform looked set to be a disparate protest vote, failing to pose a real electoral challenge to the Tories.

Then, everything changed. Farage said at the start of June that he was set to make an “emergency announcement,” striking fear into Conservative HQ.

He went on to win the seat comfortably, finally being elected Parliament after seven unsuccessful attempts.

Farage’s return injected energy into the Reform campaign and skewed the electoral arithmetic. While Reform won just four seats, it secured millions of votes, potentially costing the Conservative dozens of constituencies by splitting the vote on the right.

In the past, the Conservative Party has seen off the Faragist threat by adopting his policies. The much-diminished party now faces a similar choice: Does it try to bury Reform, or bed it?

Final results not expected until Saturday after recount in Scottish seat

From CNN's Christian Edwards in London

The final result of the UK’s general election will likely be delayed until Saturday after a recount was called in a constituency in the Scottish Highlands.

The outcome in Inverness, Skye and West Ross-shire was expected early Friday morning, before it was announced that a second recount was required and would be held Saturday.

The seat was held by the Scottish National Party in the outgoing parliament on a majority of more than 12,000.

We are also still waiting on the result from South Basildon and East Thurrock – which is expected to be held by the Conservatives – meaning just two seats out of 650 are outstanding.

Here’s a reminder of the results so far:

Labour: 412

Conservatives: 121

Liberal Democrats: 71

Scottish National Party: 9

Sinn Féin: 7

Independent: 6

Green Party: 4

Reform: 4

Plaid Cymru: 4

Democratic Unionist Party: 4

Social Democratic and Labour Party: 2

Alliance Party of Northern Ireland: 1

Ulster Unionist Party: 1

Traditional Unionist Voice: 1

Meet Victoria Starmer, wife of new British Prime Minister Keir Starmer

From CNN's Lianne Kolirin
UK election results: Live updates | CNN (15)

Incoming British Prime Minister KeirStarmerand his wife Victoria arrive at Number 10 Downing Street, on July 5.

The British public has elected a new government, and with that a new family will be moving into 10 Downing Street.

Unlike some other countries, such as the United States, when a new British prime minister comes to power, the transition into both the new role and home happens almost immediately.

That means, not only will Keir Starmer, leader of the Labour Party, be settling into his home down the road from the Houses of Parliament, but so will his wife, Victoria, and their two teenage children.

Starmer’s wife, whom he usually refers to as Vic, kept a relatively low profile during the election campaign, but she was at his side on Friday as he arrived at Downing Street for the first time as prime minister.

So, who is Victoria Starmer, and what do we know about the new occupants of 10 Downing Street?

Read the full story here.

At the scene: Keir Starmer's first speech as PM

From CNN's Rob Picheta at Downing Street, London
UK election results: Live updates | CNN (16)

Newly elected Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer gives a speech outside Downing Street on July 5 after the Labour party won a landslide victory at the 2024 General Election.

Little more than an hour separated Keir Starmer’s speech from Rishi Sunak’s, but the mood outside Downing Street could not have been more dramatically different.

A crowd of Labour staffers and their family members gathered a few steps from the Number 10 door while Starmer was at Buckingham Palace, some holding Union Jack umbrellas, others waving flags.

At one point a member of staff handed out Scottish and Welsh flags, after an election that saw Labour overturn a deficit to the Scottish National Party north of the border. The “One Nation” optics drew a clear parallel to Tony Blair’s Labour victory.

Even Larry the cat, Downing Street’s beloved demouser-in-chief, broke out of his midday nap on the pavement and limbered up for his new housemate, doing a few laps of the street before slipping back inside.

The helicopter circling overhead and the increasingly enthused cheers from the amassed crowd signalled Starmer’s arrival, and the ever-serious politician appeared relaxed, the burden of campaigning lifted, as he took his time greeting them on arrival.

His speech was statesmanlike if not exactly soaring, the energy dipping slightly as he reached for well-worn phrases already used in countless campaign speeches.

There was no new, surprising side to Starmer that emerged - perhaps none ever will. But Starmer ended on a powerful note, promising his government’s “urgent work” will “begin today.”

It’s not an exaggeration: Starmer has decisions to make about his Cabinet, and while his majority is almost historic, he must face a public eager to see results after a fragile coalition of voters saw him into Downing Street.

But those are conversations for another day. Friday belongs to Keir Starmer, Britain’s new, uniquely powerful prime minister.

Starmer pledges to steer UK toward "calmer waters"

From CNN's Christian Edwards in London
UK election results: Live updates | CNN (17)

Labour leader and incoming Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer speaks to the media as he enters 10 Downing Street following Labour's landslide election victory on July 5, in London, England.

Wrapping his speech, Starmer pledged to steer the UK toward “calmer waters” after 14 often turbulent years of Conservative rule.

“If I asked you now whether you believe that Britain will be better for your children, I know too many of you would say no,” he said, pledging to fight “until you believe again.”

Starmer said his government would try to “defy, quietly, those who have written our country off.

He said the four nations of the United Kingdom would stand together as they confront “the challenges of an insecure world, committed to a calm and patient rebuilding.”

Starmer pledges to heal the "weariness in the heart" of Britain

From CNN's Christian Edwards in London
UK election results: Live updates | CNN (18)

British Prime Minister Keir Starmer delivers his speech outsideDowningStreet10 in London, England, on July 5.

Keir Starmer said the country voted “decisively for change, and a return of politics to public service.”

“When the gap between the sacrifices made by people and the service they receive from politicians grows this big, it leads to a weariness in the heart of a nation, a draining away of the hope, the spirit, the belief in a better future, that we need to move forward together,” Starmer said.

This wound, Starmer said, “can only be healed by action, not words.”

He said he intends to start work right away “with the simple acknowledgement that public service is a privilege and that this government should treat every single person in this country with respect.”

Starmer praises predecessor Sunak in first speech

From CNN's Jack Guy
UK election results: Live updates | CNN (19)

Incoming British Prime Minister Keir Starmer delivers a speech at Number 10DowningStreet in London, England, on July 5.

New UK Prime Minister Keir Starmer has praised his predecessor Rishi Sunak in his first speech as prime minister.

After confirming he’d accepted an invitation to form a government following a landslide win, Labour leader Starmer recognized the “extra effort” Sunak made in becoming the country’s first Asian prime minister.

“And we also recognize the dedication and hard work he brought to his leadership,” added Starmer.

Starmer to make first address to nation as prime minister

From CNN's Jack Guy

The UK’s new Prime Minister Keir Starmer is set to address the nation from outside Downing Street shortly.

Starmer has just had an audience with King Charles at Buckingham Palace, where the monarch invited him to form the next government.

He’s now left the palace and is on his way to his new home.

What is the King’s role in the election?

From CNN’s Lauren Said-Moorhouse in London

You may have noticed King Charles III hasn’t been out and about quite as much over the last six weeks. It’s not for the reason you think.

Soon after Rishi Sunak called for a general election, Buckingham Palace announced the family would postpone engagements “which may appear to divert attention or distract from theelection campaign,” since the royals must stay neutral and above politics.

The King has spent the past few days in Scotland for “Holyrood Week,” an annual celebration in the royal calendar recognizing Scottish culture and community.

However, he was needed back in London on Friday to invite the leader of the party that won the most seats in the House of Commons to Buckingham Palace.

During Kier Starmer’s audience with Charles, he will become become prime minister and be invited to form a government in His Majesty’s name.

Sunak lacked vision and experience, says leading PM biographer

From CNN's Christian Edwards in London
UK election results: Live updates | CNN (20)

Sir Anthony Seldon appears on the 'Good Morning Britain' TV show in London, England, on November 10, 2022.

Antony Seldon has written biographies of Britain’s last eight consecutive prime ministers, but the recent churn of leaders has left him “a bit jaded.”

Boris Johnson, who won the last general election in 2019, was “so awful.” Liz Truss was “just hopeless – but very destructive and fascinating.”

How did Sunak stack up against his predecessors? Seldon sees two clear flaws with his brief premiership: lack of vision, and inexperience.

Painting with a broad brush, Seldon describes Johnson, with his focus on infrastructure, as “Rooseveltian;” Truss, with her penchant for libertarian economics, as “Reaganite;” and Sunak, a fan of tight money, as “kind of Hooverite.”

But he struggles to ascribe a broader strategy to Sunak. As a result, his signature policies – putting some chess boards in parks, encouraging young people to study math to 18, banning smoking – have felt “pretty micro.”

Rather than implementing major policies of his own, Sunak canceled ones already underway: a high-speed train between London and other major cities, and rolling back Britain’s pledges to tackle climate change.

And, entering 10 Downing Street just seven years after becoming a Member of Parliament, Sunak “was never blooded, never had to reflect on the whole range of what a government does, the opposition does.”

Starmer arrives at Buckingham Palace for audience with the King

From CNN's Christian Edwards in London
UK election results: Live updates | CNN (21)

King Charles III, right, welcomes Sir Keir Starmer during an audience at Buckingham Palace, London, on July 5.

Keir Starmer has arrived at Buckingham Palace with his wife, Victoria, where they were welcomed into the King’s door for an audience with Charles III.

After the process known as “the kissing of hands,” Starmer will be invited to form a government in His Majesty’s name.

When he leaves the palace, Starmer will have become the 58th prime minister of the United Kingdom.

Green Party quadruples number of seats in strong showing

From CNN's Jack Guy, Louis Mian and Rob Picheta
UK election results: Live updates | CNN (22)

Sian Berry and Green Party supporters celebrate at the Portslade Sports Centre after winning the seat in the Brighton Pavilion constituency in the 2024 General Election on July 4.

The Green Party won four seats in parliament, three more than at the last election in 2019, receiving 6.8% of the popular vote.

While the party stood candidates in a record number of constituencies in this election, its official goal was to win four seats and it succeeded in all four.

The Greens won comfortably in Brighton Pavilion, their long-time and, until now, only stronghold, and managed to take two seats away from the Conservatives in the rural constituencies of North Herefordshire and Waveney Valley.

The Greens also won in Bristol Central, where party co-leader Carla Denyer ran against Labour candidate Thangam Debbonaire, who was first elected an MP in 2015 and was expected to become Culture Secretary in the new Labour government.

Denyer thanked voters in a post on X.

“As this city’s first Green MP, I promise to be a strong, independent voice for Bristol’s values, pushing the govt to be bolder on the issues that matter,” she wrote.

Rishi Sunak formally tenders resignation to King Charles

From CNN's Lindsay Isaac in London
UK election results: Live updates | CNN (23)

Sir Clive Alderton, Principal Private Secretary to The King and Queen, right, with Commander William Thornton, Royal Navy, Equerry to The King, second right, greet Rishi Sunak and his wife Akshata Murty, as he arrives at Buckingham Palace for an audience with King Charles III to formally resign as PM on July 5.

Rishi Sunak is no longer Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, having formally tendered his resignation to the King during an audience at Buckingham Palace.

Sunak was pictured along with his wife, Akshata Murty, leaving Buckingham Palace.

Incoming Prime Minister Keir Starmer is set to meet the King next and officially take power.

Starmer set for morning meeting with the King

From CNN’s Lauren Said-Moorhouse in London
UK election results: Live updates | CNN (24)

KeirStarmer, leader of Britain's Labour party, reacts as he speaks at a reception to celebrate his win in the election, at Tate Modern, in London, on July 5.

Keir Starmer will soon become the third prime minister of King Charles III’s reign. When Charles acceded the throne in 2022, Liz Truss had been in office for 48 hours. Just 49 days later, Sunak replaced her. So, how does this next part play out?

As head of state, appointing new prime ministers is one of Charles’s core constitutional duties, along with the State Opening of Parliament and signing parliamentary bills into law.

Sunak will head to Buckingham Palace to tender his resignation and for a final farewell audience with the monarch. Little is known about what happens at this meeting.

Gordon Brown, the former Labour prime minister in office between 2007 and 2010, said in his memoir that his last PM meeting with the late Elizabeth II didn’t involve handing over seals of office, but “simply saying goodbye to the Queen – and thanking her.”

In his autobiography, “My Life, Our Times,” he said “as usual, she was charming and the occasion itself was relaxed.” Brown recalled how the Queen permitted his two young sons to be present when he received a parting gift – an inscribed photograph of the monarch.

Shortly after, Starmer will travel over to the royal residence for a process known as “the kissing of hands.” The old ceremony reflects loyalty to the sovereign, but the kissing is not expected these days. Starmer will then be invited to form a government in His Majesty’s name.

The transition is a relatively quick process, taking about half an hour. Once back, we’ll get Starmer’s first address to the nation from outside Downing Street.

At the scene: Sunak's final speech as British prime minister

From CNN's Rob Picheta at Downing Street, London
UK election results: Live updates | CNN (25)

Outgoing British Prime Minister RishiSunakwalks with his wife Akshata Murty after delivering a speech at Number 10 Downing Street, following the results of the elections, in London, England, on July 5.

Rishi Sunak fired the starting gun on his six-week downfall in the rain. His premiership ended on Friday morning, in a drizzle.

There were plenty of umbrellas unfurled among the media masses opposite Downing Street’s famous black door — an instrument infamously ignored by the outgoing prime minister when he called the election at the end of May.

But at least the worst of the rain had cleared, averting the prospect of Sunak’s speech being hurriedly moved inside.

In the windows above Downing Street, as Sunak said his final goodbyes inside, the lights were on and the silhouettes of staff members flashed by, occasionally fiddling with the blinds.

For Sunak and for most of his political appointees, this will be their final moments inside the famous building. The handover in power in British politics is infamously sudden.

Then he emerged, with his wife a few paces behind as he took to the podium. It was a cleaner speech than six weeks ago. He sounded humbled and apologetic.

But a protestor could clearly be heard shouting “Tories Out!” as Sunak delivered his final words, Sunak tapping his left foot hurriedly as he did so.

With a touch of poetic humor, the clouds did at last part over Sunak’s head as he neared the end of his speech. After a miserable, gray morning, the sky noticeably brightened over Downing Street seconds after Sunak’s departure.

“I have heard your anger,” Sunak says in contrite farewell speech

From CNN's Christian Edwards in London
UK election results: Live updates | CNN (26)

Outgoing British Prime Minister RishiSunakdelivers a speech outside Number 10 Downing Street in London, England, on July 5.

More now on Rishi Sunak’s farewell speech from Downing Street.

The outgoing PM said he had heard the “anger” of British voters, who delivered his Conservative Party its worst-ever defeat, and apologized to the candidates who had lost their seats.

Sunak announced he will step down as party leader in the near future. Reflecting on his 21-month premiership, Sunak said he had “returned stability to our economy” and rebuilt Britain’s relations with its allies.

He singled out a major deal he struck to normalize relations between the UK and European Union in the wake of Brexit - a policy he championed - as another of his achievements.

Sunak wished Labour leader Keir Starmer success when he becomes prime minister later Friday.

Finally, Sunak – the first British Asian prime minister – reflected on his background.

Perhaps in a nod toward the surge in support for the hard-right Reform UK party, Sunak said: “We must hold true to that idea of who we are – that vision of kindness, decency and tolerance that has always been the British way.”

BREAKING: Sunak pledges to step down as Conservative leader after landslide election loss

From CNN's Jack Guy
UK election results: Live updates | CNN (27)

Outgoing British Prime Minister RishiSunakspeaks at Number 10 Downing Street, following the results of the elections, in London, England, on July 5.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has said that he will step down as leader of the Conservative party after losing the election in a landslide.

“Following this result, I will step down as party leader,” he said, a move that will trigger a contest to become next Conservative leader.

“To the country, I would like to say first and foremost: I am sorry,” he said in an address to the British public outside Downing Street to mark the end of his time in office.

“I have given this job my all, but you have sent a clear signal that the government of the United Kingdom must change, and yours is the only judgment that matters,” added Sunak.

His party was routed by the opposition Labour party and squeezed by the Nigel Farage-led Reform Party and the resurgent centrist Liberal Democrats.

Several Conservative cabinet ministers lost their seats and the party must now decide how to respond to the challenges of opposition.

Outgoing Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to address public from Downing Street

From CNN's Jack Guy
UK election results: Live updates | CNN (28)

Workers place a lectern outside Number 10DowningStreet, following the results of the election, in London, England, on July 5.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is to make a statement as he prepares to make way for election winner Keir Starmer to form a government.

A podium has been set up outside Downing Street, with Sunak expected to address the public shortly.

Nationalist Sinn Féin party becomes largest Northern Irish party in Westminster parliament

From CNN's Niamh Kennedy in London

Sinn Féin has become largest Northern Irish party in the Westminster parliament after a historic showing in the UK general election.

Northern Irish politicians can choose to either run for a seat in the Westminster parliament or for a seat in the devolved legislature, the Northern Ireland Assembly, referred to as Stormont.

The Assembly passes laws regarding policy areas such as health, education and policing whilst the Westminster parliament presides over issues which have not been devolved including foreign policy and defense.

The nationalist Sinn Féin party, which advocates for reuniting Northern Ireland with the Republic of Ireland in the south, succeeded in winning seven out of the 18 available seats in the Westminster parliament.

After a sweeping victory in Assembly elections held in 2022, Sinn Féin now has the largest number of seats for a Northern Ireland party in both Westminster and Stormont.

Sinn Féin MPs do not take up their seats in the Westminster parliament as part of the party’s refusal to recognize British sovereignty over Northern Ireland.

The party’s leader in Northern Ireland, Michelle O’Neill hailed their success in a social media post on Friday, thanking voters for “endorsing Sinn Féin candidates who will work hard for you every day and lead positive change for everyone.”

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), the leading Unionist party which wants Northern Ireland to remain part of the United Kingdom, won five seats in total, losing some long-held seats in stronghold areas.

The UK’s transfer of power is an exercise of ruthless efficiency

From CNN's Christian Edwards in London
UK election results: Live updates | CNN (29)

The media take up their positions in Downing Street following Labour's landslide election victory on July 5, in London, England.

Somewhere in London, a removal van will soon start trundling towards Westminster. Desks will be cleared, photographs will be taken down, closets will be emptied. By this evening, 10 Downing Street will have a new resident.

In other countries, the gap between an election to the formation of a new government can take months. In the United Kingdom, power is transferred with ruthless efficiency.

In the coming hours, Sunak is expected to give a resignation speech; Starmer is expected to give a victory one; both are expected to visit Buckingham Palace.

By the afternoon, the conversation will have shifted to the makeup of Starmer’s government. We’ll be bringing you the latest until then.

UK election marked by low turnout with some 40% of British voters skipping the vote

From CNN’s Ivana Kottasová and Lauren Said-Moorhouse in London
UK election results: Live updates | CNN (30)

People queue to vote at a polling station in London, England, on July 4.

Labour might have won a big majority in the parliament, but once the celebrations end, the party will need to ask itself a tough question: why did so many voters stay home?

Official data showed electoral turnout – the proportion of eligible voters who actually voted – stood just below 60%, only the second time in the past century that more than 40% of voters decided to stay home.

It dipped to 59.4% in 2001 – something political commentators at the time attributed to the dominance of Tony Blair’s Labour Party at the time. Their win was seen as certain well ahead of the vote.

Given the predictions of a major Labour win, it is possible that some voters decided to skip the vote on Thursday because they thought the election was already decided.

But there are other possible explanations.

Some voters in Scotland might have missed the vote because of its timing. Schools in Scotland have already shut down for the summer break, meaning some families might have been away on vacation. While postal vote is possible – and popular – in the UK, British media reported delays to some ballot papers being delivered.

And then there are the voters who decided to skip the vote because they are fed up with politics altogether – not wanting the Conservatives to remain in power but uninspired by the alternatives.

Here is a selection of voter turnout over past century, according to election data from the House of Commons Library:

  • 1924: 77.0%
  • 1929: 76% (The first election in which men and women had equal right to vote)
  • 1931: 76.4%
  • 1935: 71.1%
  • 1945: 72.8%
  • 1950: 83.9%
  • 1970: 72.0%
  • 1979: 76.0%
  • 1987: 75.3%
  • 1992: 77.7%
  • 1997: 71.4%
  • 2001: 59.4%
  • 2005: 61.4%
  • 2010: 65.1%
  • 2015: 66.2%
  • 2017: 68.8%
  • 2019: 67.3%
  • 2024 (as of Friday morning): 59.9%

Here is how one third of votes got Labour two thirds of seats in the Parliament

From CNN's Ivana Kottasová in London
UK election results: Live updates | CNN (31)

Staff sort ballots at the Richmond and Northallerton count centre in Northallerton, England, on July 4, as polls close in Britain's general election.

The Labour Party has won an overwhelming majority in the UK Parliament, securing close to two thirds of the seats in the UK Parliament.

Here is the curious thing though: in terms of the vote share, only about one third of voters cast their votes for Labour in the election yesterday.

This discrepancy is due to the British electoral system, based on the “first past the post” principle.

The country is divided into 650 constituencies, each holding their own contest to pick one member of parliament. Whoever wins the largest number of votes in their constituency becomes the MP – they don’t need to secure the majority in order to be elected. In fact, most MPs don’t.

This means that the number of seats a party wins doesn’t necessary reflect its overall popularity across the country, something that has historically disadvantaged the smaller parties.

Reform, the insurgent rightwing populist party led by Nigel Farage, secured 14% of the votes in this election, but came first in only four constituencies. That means they will take up four seats in the parliament – less than 1%. The Greens, who got some 7% of all votes also secured four seats.

There have been campaigns to change the electoral systems over the years, but none succeeded – possibly because the parties making the decision are the ones who could lose the most from a shift to a different system.

World leaders congratulate Starmer on election victory

From CNN's Lauren Said-Moorhouse and Catherine Nicholls in London

Leaders from several nations have been sending their congratulations to Britain’s next prime minister Keir Starmer.

Canadian PrimeMinister Justin Trudeau posted a photo of himself and Starmer on X, writing that they have “lots of work ahead.”

Meanwhile, Australian PrimeMinister Anthony Albanese sent “congratulations to my friend and new UK Prime Minister @Keir_Starmer on his resounding election victory.” He added in a post on X that he was looking “forward to working constructively” with the incoming Labour government.

Prime Minister of Norway Jonas Gahr Støre congratulated Starmer on an “historic election win” on social media.

Malta’s Prime MinisterRobert Abelasaid he was “delighted by @Keir_Starmer’s resounding victory in the UK general election” in a post on X.

“Congratulationsto@UKLabourfor driving a progressive and engaging campaign that empowered UK citizens. I look forward to strengthening further the excellent relations between [Malta]and [the UK],” said Abela.

French President Emmanuel Macron congratulated Starmer and alluded to having already spoken to the incoming Prime Minister.

“Pleased with our first discussion. We will continue the work begun with the UK for our bilateral cooperation, for peace and security in Europe, for the climate and for AI,” Macron said in a post on X.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky congratulated Starmer on a “convincing election victory” in a post on X.

“Ukraine and the United Kingdom have been and will continue to be reliable allies through thick and thin,” he wrote.

“We will continue to defend and advance our common values of life, freedom, and a rules-based international order.”

The "fun" campaign that delivered a "record-breaking" night for the Lib Dems

From CNN's Christian Edwards in London
UK election results: Live updates | CNN (32)

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey at the London Art Bar in central London where party supporters are watching the results of the election on July 5.

As leader of the party that won just 11 seats at the last general election, Ed Davey has had to scrap for attention. With British media duly dominated by Labour and the Conservatives – joined this time by the nascent Reform UK party – the centrist Liberal Democrats faced a problem: How to get eyeballs on their campaign?

Davey, it turned out, found an ingenious solution: Be a bit of a clown.

Over the past six weeks, Davey has bungee-jumped, rollercoaster-ed, kayaked, wheelbarrowed, frisbee-ed, slip-and-slid, paddle-boarded and hula-hooped his way across the country, on the promise to take voters’ concerns – but not himself – seriously.

Many British voters might have been hard-pressed to name the leader of the Lib Dems before this campaign. Now, millions will be familiar with him. Amid Sunak’s gaffes and Starmer’s unflinching earnestness, Davey has cut the figure of a fun uncle, winning him widespread affection.

The campaign has not, however, been without more somber moments. In a moving campaign video, Davey told the story of how he looks after his 16-year-old son, John, who was born with severe learning and physical disabilities and requires round-the-clock care.

The Lib Dems made social care a key part of their manifesto – and have been rewarded with 70 seats, which Davey hailed as the party’s “best results in a century.”

Sunak to address British public before tendering resignation to King Charles

From CNN's Max Foster, Niamh Kennedy and Lindsay Isaac
UK election results: Live updates | CNN (33)

Outgoing British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is seen leaving the Conservative Party headquarters in London on July 5.

Outgoing Prime MinisterRishi Sunak has arrived in London to begin the process of formally standing down and allowing election winner Keir Starmer to form a government.

A plane reported to be carrying Sunak landed at the RAF Northolt airbase in west London shortly after 7 a.m. local time (2 a.m. ET), according to video carried by British broadcasters.

Sunak then traveled to the Conservative party headquarters in London where he is expected to address party members and staff.

He is expected to make a statement at Downing Street at approximately 10.30 a.m. local time (5.30 a.m. ET), before travelling to Buckingham Palace to tender his resignation to King Charles, according to a provisional timeline of events released by the Prime Minister’s office.

Labour Party leader Keir Starmer will then have an audience with the King, who will officially ask him to form a government.

Starmer will then travel to Downing Street and address the nation as new Prime Minister at around 12.20 p.m. local time (7.20 a.m. ET).

Pro-Palestinian independent candidates upset Labour in three constituencies

From CNN’s Louis Mian in London
UK election results: Live updates | CNN (34)

Former Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, center, joins pro-Palestinian activists in protest calling for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, in central London on March 30. Corbyn won the Islington North constituency as an independent during the July 4 election.

While it undoubtedly has been a good night for Labour, its stance on the war in Gaza has cost the party votes.

Pro-Palestinian independent candidates have managed to upset Labour in three constituencies the party won in 2019: Blackburn, Leicester South and Islington North.

Adnan Hussain, who promised to make sure that opposition to “the injustice being inflicted against the people of Gaza be heard,” won in Blackburn, a constituency which had previously voted Labour in every election since it was created in 1955.

Meanwhile, Labour’s Shadow Paymaster General Jonathan Ashworth, who had been Leicester South’s MP since 2011, was unseated by the independent candidate Shockat Adam, who won 35.2% compared to Ashworth’s 32.9%.

“As a genocide is being committed in Gaza, according to all human rights observers, many have expressed feeling betrayed and ignored on this matter,” Adam said in his campaign to win the Leicester South constituency.

Former left-wing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who was expelled from the party in a spat over antisemitism, won the Islington North constituency as an independent. His win gives him the opportunity to challenge the current Labour leader (and next PM) Keir Starmer in parliament, who has sought to remold Labour from the Corbyn era.

However, Labour has gained the Rochdale constituency from the pro-Palestine politician George Galloway.

Galloway dramatically won the constituency in a by-election earlier this year, in which he accused the “political class” of having “failed Rochdale, failed Britain and failed Gaza.”

Liz Truss loses her seat, an epic collapse for the short-lived former prime minister

From CNN's Rob Picheta in London
UK election results: Live updates | CNN (35)

Former prime minister Liz Truss departs after losing her Norfolk South West seat to the Labour Party, at Alive Lynnsport in King's Lynn, Norfolk, on July 5.

Britain’s former Prime Minister Liz Truss has suffered another unprecedented humiliation, losing her seat and being dumped from parliament less than two years after she led the country.

Truss was prime minister for just six weeks, by some distance the shortest stint in British history. Her premiership collapsed after a shambolic financial plan spooked markets and investors and caused the value of the pound to plummet.

She refused to speak after her defeat, leaving the stage with her fellow candidates instead, attempting to retain a steely look on her face.

Truss lost by 630 votes. She picked up 11,217 votes, to Labour’s 11,847.

Her defeat is one of the most staggering moments in the long history of British elections. It trumps the famous moment in 1997 when Defence Secretary Michael Portillo lost his seat; even among the worst-case forecasts for the Conservatives, few imagined that Truss could be defeated in her once ultra-safe Tory safe.

Rishi Sunak had sought to distance the Conservatives from Truss’s tenure, but she nonetheless represented the party in the seat she has held since 2010.

She now becomes the face of the Conservatives’ collapse, on an unprecedented night that saw the ruling party thoroughly rejected by the electorate.

Record number of women elected to parliament

From CNN's Lauren Said-Moorhouse in London
UK election results: Live updates | CNN (36)

Labour candidate Catherine f*ckes reacts after winning the Monmouth constituency at Chepstow Leisure Centre in Chepstow, Wales on July 5, 2024. f*ckes defeated longtime incumbent conservative MP David TC Davies.

Seats are still being declared on what has been a gripping election night, but it’s already official: There will be a record number of female lawmakers in the new House of Commons when it returns.

It follows a trend from the past few elections in which the number of women in parliament has increased.

So far, some 242 female MPs have been elected to parliament. The previous record set in 2019 was 220. Before that in 2017, it was 207 and 196 in 2015.

In Scotland, SNP loses scores of seats, including several in capital city

From CNN's Catherine Nicholls in London
UK election results: Live updates | CNN (37)

Scottish National Party supporters and candidates gather as the counting of votes continues, during the UK election in Glasgow, Scotland, on July 5.

The Scottish National Party has lost scores of seats across the country, including a number in Scotland’s capital city Edinburgh.

The party has lost at least 38 seats in total, including Edinburgh North and Leith, Edinburgh East and Musselburgh, and Edinburgh South West — all of which were picked up by the Labour Party.

Most of the seats the SNP lost have been Labour gains, but two, Mid Dunbartonshire and North East Fife, were lost to the Liberal Democrats.

Labour has won a total of 37 seats so far across Scotland.The Conservative Party meanwhile, has only won in one constituency in Scotland so far — Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk.

The left-leaning SNP has led Scotland’s devolved government since 2007, and it forced an independence vote in 2014 in which Scottish voters opted to remain part of the United Kingdom.

The SNP descended intodisorder last yearamid a widely publicized police investigationinto the party’s financial irregularities, which eroded its public support.

Conservative Party loses all its MPs in Wales

From CNN's Lauren Kent in London
UK election results: Live updates | CNN (38)

Conservative candidate David TC Davies attends the count for the Monmouth constituency at Chepstow Leisure Centre in Chepstow, Wales on July 5, 2024.

The Conservative Party has lost all 14 of its members of parliament in Wales, as Welsh Secretary David TC Davies lost his seat to Labour.

Davies finished second in his constituency of Monmouthshire, with 34.8% of the vote, compared to Labour candidate Catherine f*ckes’ 41.3%.

Three other former Welsh secretaries lost their seats: Alun Cairns lost to Labour in Vale of Glamorgan, Stephen Crabb lost to Labour in Mid and South Pembrokeshire, and Simon Hart lost to Plaid Cymruin Caerfyrddin.

PM Rishi Sunak and Chancellor Jeremy Hunt will return to parliament, but other prominent MPs have lost their seats

From CNN’s Louis Mian in London
UK election results: Live updates | CNN (39)

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak speaks after winning his seat in Richmond and Northallerton constituency on July 5.

With the UK’s electoral map changing fundamentally, from a large Conservative majority in 2019 to a large Labour majority this election, numerous prominent politicians have already lost their seats:

  • Former Prime Minister Liz Truss suffered another unprecedented humiliation, losing her seat by 630 votes and being dumped from parliament less than two years after she led the country.
  • Leader of the House of CommonsPenny Mordauntwas unseated by Labour in the Portsmouth North constituency. Mordaunt, who served as defense secretary in 2019 and before that international development secretary, was first elected as the constituency’s Conservative MP in 2010.
  • Defence SecretaryGrant Shappslost the constituency he had been the MP for since 2005, Welwyn Hatfield, which Labour gained. Meanwhile, Justice SecretaryAlex Chalklost his Cheltenham seat to the Liberal Democrats.
  • Prominent right-wing ConservativeJacob Rees-Moggwill no longer be an MP after losing in the Somerset North East and Hanham constituency. While Labour candidate Dan Norris received 40.6% of the vote, Rees-Mogg, a prominent Brexiteer who became business secretary under Liz Truss’ premiership, came second with 30.2% of the vote.
  • Education SecretaryGillian Keeganhas been unseated by the Liberal Democrats in Chichester. The Conservatives had won Chichester in every general election since 1924, but this time the Liberal Democrats received 49.2% of the vote and the Conservatives only 25.7%.
  • ConservativeRobert Buckland, previously Welsh secretary (July to October 2022) and justice secretary (2019 to 2021), lost in Swindon South. Buckland received just 26.9% of the vote, while the Labour candidate Heidi Alexander received 48.4%. Alexander was previously the Labour MP for Lewisham East from 2010 to 2018, before resigning from parliament to become deputy mayor of London for transport — a position she held until 2021.
  • ConservativeThérèseCoffey, who has held numerous senior government positions including health secretary, was unseated by Labour in the Suffolk Coastal constituency. The Conservatives had won the constituency every election since it was created in 1983, but this time Labour received 31.7% of the vote compared to the Conservatives’ 29.5%.
  • Veterans’ MinisterJohnny Mercerhas also found himself without a seat in the new parliament. He lost in the Plymouth Moor View constituency, where Labour won with 41.2% of the vote compared to the Conservatives’ 28.1%. In 2019, Mercer won a large majority in the seat, gaining 60.7% of the vote.
  • Conservative chief whip and former Welsh SecretarySimon Hartwill also no longer be an MP. He lost in Caerfyrddin, in Wales, coming third place behind both Labour and Plaid Cymru, who won the seat.
  • The Conservative Party’s deputy chairmanJonathan Gullislost in the Stoke-on-Trent North. While in 2019, Gullis won 52.3% of the vote in the constituency, he received just 26.3% this time around. Labour candidate David Williams won the constituency, receiving 40.3% of the vote.
  • Labour has also taken Transport Secretary Mark Harper’s seat in the Forest of Dean. Labour’s Matt Bishop ousted Harper - who was elected to parliament in 2005 - with just 278 votes.
  • However, it’s not only prominent Conservative MPs who have lost their seats: Labour’sThangam Debbonairelost the Bristol Central constituency.
  • Debbonaire was expected to become culture secretary under a Labour government, but her hopes were dashed after Green Party co-leader Carla Denyer won 56.6% of the constituency’s vote, compared to Debbonaire’s 32.6%.
  • Meanwhile, Labour’sJonathan Ashworth, who was expected to become paymaster general in a Labour government, lost the Leicester South constituency to an independent candidate, Shockat Adam.

"Change begins now," Keir Starmer tells victory rally in London

From CNN's Billy Stockwell and Lauren Said-Moorhouse in London
UK election results: Live updates | CNN (40)

Keir Starmer, leader of Britain's Labour party, addresses his supporters at a reception to celebrate his win in the election, at Tate Modern, in London, England, on July 5.

The soon-to-be new UK Prime Minister Keir Starmer has addressed cheering supporters at a Labour Party victory rally in central London, and pledged “national renewal” following 14 years of Conservative rule.

“You campaigned for it, you fought for it, you voted for it and now it has arrived. Change begins now,” Starmer told Labour staff. “It feels good, I have to be honest … This is what it is for. A changed Labour party, ready to serve our country.”

However, Starmer cautioned that having “a mandate like this comes with a great responsibility.”

Speaking a few moments after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak conceded defeat in the general election, Starmer said, “Our task is nothing less than renewing the ideas that hold this country together. National renewal. If you work hard, if you play by the rules, this country should give you a fair chance to get on… We have to restore that.”

He continued: “We have to return politics to public service, show that politics can be a force for good. Make no mistake, that is the great test for politics in this era. The fight for trust is the battle that defines our age.”

Senior Conservative JacobRees-Mogg loses seat

From CNN's Lauren Said-Moorhouse in London
UK election results: Live updates | CNN (41)

Jacob Rees-Mogg is pictured during the count for his North East Somerset and Hanham constituency.

JacobRees-Mogg, senior Conservative figure and former leader of the House of Commons, has become the latest election night upset after losing his seat.

Labour’s Dan Norris garnered 20,739 votes in in Somerset North East and Hanham, while Rees-Mogg secured 15,420 votes.

Earlier Friday, Rees-Mogg summed up the party’s fortunes after voters delivered a devastating verdict on the ruling Conservative Party’s 14 years in power. He said simply that “there’s no way of describing this as anything other than a bad night for the Conservative Party.”

Labour has officially won the election

From CNN's Rob Picheta in London
UK election results: Live updates | CNN (42)

Labour leader Keir Starmer reacts after winning the constituency of Holborn and St Pancras during the UK general election on July 5, in London, England.

Labour has won 326 seats, the crucial number that secures them a parliamentary majority and ensures Keir Starmer will become prime minister in the coming hours.

Minutes earlier, outgoing PM and Conservative Party leader Rishi Sunak conceded defeat, telling people at the count in his seat: “I am sorry.”

“The Labour Party has won this general election,” Sunak said, adding that he had called Starmer to congratulate him and concede the election.

The milestone marks the end of one era and the start of another; the Conservatives have ruled Britain for 14 years, but Labour has ousted them from power for the first time since 1997.

Five years ago, when the Tories won a thumping majority, this moment would have seemed unthinkable. But Starmer has turned his party around while the Conservatives collapsed, slumping from scandal to scandal and changing their leader twice since that vote.

There are still many more seats to declare, and Labour is on course for a huge majority that will make Starmer a powerful prime minister. He will travel to Buckingham Palace on Friday to formally take control of the country.

Rishi Sunak concedes defeat, saying "Labour has won this election"

From CNN's Rob Picheta in London
UK election results: Live updates | CNN (43)

Britain's Prime Minister and Conservative Party leader Rishi Sunak arrives for the declaration of results in Northallerton, England, on July 5.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has conceded defeat in the general election, telling people at the count in his seat: “I am sorry.”

“The Labour Party has won this general election,” Sunak said, adding that he has called Keir Starmer to congratulate him and concede the election.

Just 20 voters decided a crucial seat

From CNN's Rob Picheta and Lauren Said-Moorhouse in London
UK election results: Live updates | CNN (44)

Conservative Party Chairman Richard Holden watches a recount for Basildon and Billericay in Basildon, England, on July 5.

The Conservatives have held a key seat by the narrowest of margins: just 20 people ensured that party’s chairman Richard Holden won Basildon and Billericay.

A recount was ordered in the constituency, which went right down to wire: if just 11 votes that were initially counted for the Conservatives had in fact been for Labour, the seat would have turned red.

This constituency has been an extremely secure stronghold for the Conservatives; so safe that Holden moved himself from a northeastern seat to contest this one, against the opposition of local Tories.

But the Conservatives’ collapse and Labour’s surge turned it into a stunningly close battleground. The final tally put Holden on 12,905 votes; Labour’s Alex Harrison on 12,885 votes and Reform UK’s Stephen Conlay on 11,354 votes.

House of Commons leader Penny Mordaunt loses seatin most high-profile defeat so far

From CNN's Rob Picheta, Lauren Said-Moorhouse and Billy Stockwell in London
UK election results: Live updates | CNN (45)

Leader of the House of Commons and Conservative MP Penny Mordaunt arrives at the BBC studio in London on June 7, ahead of a live TV debate between representatives from the leading parties standing in the UK general election.

Penny Mordaunt, the House of Commons leader and a potential frontrunner in the impending race for the leadership of the Conservative Party, has lost her seat – the most high-profile loss of the night so far.

Mordaunt, who has been an MP since 2010, was dislodged by Labour challenger Amanda Martin in Portsmouth North. Martin received 14,495 votes to Mordaunt’s 13,715 votes.

Mordaunt beat Martin in 2019 with a majority of more than 15,000 votes.

Her defeat will be a blow to moderate Conservatives who are hoping to wrest control of the party away from its populist wing; Mourdaunt ran against Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak in the race to replace Boris Johnson as leader in 2022, and would have been expected to run again in another contest.

She also won attention around the world as the “lady in blue” at King Charles’ coronation.

UK election results: Live updates | CNN (46)

Penny Mordaunt leads King Charles III during his coronation ceremony in Westminster Abbey in London, on May 6, 2023.

Right-wing populist Nigel Farage becomes MP for the first time after winning in Clacton

From CNN's Rob Picheta and Lauren Said-Moorhouse in London
UK election results: Live updates | CNN (47)

Reform UK leader Nigel Farage speaks to the press as he arrives for the declaration of results in Clacton-on-Sea, England, on July 5.

Nigel Farage, the right-wing populist leader of the Reform UK party, has become an MP at the eighth attempt, winning a seat in the heavily pro-Brexit town of Clacton.

Farage’s Reform UK party has attacked the Conservatives on their failure to bring down rates of legal and illegal migration, and their message won over a considerable number of socially conservative former Tory voters.

The veteran Euroskeptic played a leading role in bringing about Britain’s departure from the European Union, and has remained a divisive and disruptive figure in the country’s politics since.

But he has never been elected to parliament, losing seven elections since 1994 before this victory.He won Clacton on a massive swing towards Reform, picking up 21,225 votes to the Conservatives’ 12,820.

“It’s not just disappointment with the Conservative Party. There is a massive gap on the centre right of British politics and my job is to fill it. And that’s exactly what I’m going to do,” Farage said after winning the seat.

He pledged to “challenge the general election properly in 2029,” and promised to turn his rhetoric towards Labour as they seem set to enter government.

His presence during the election campaign upended the Tories’ efforts to win back socially conservative, pro-Brexit voters. Now, he’ll likely be a prominent outside voice as the Conservatives decide on their next direction as the new opposition party.

CNN visited Clacton in the run-up to the election, to take the temperature of voters and assess how Farage’s anti-immigration message was received.

Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn defeats his old party standing as an independent

From CNN's Rob Picheta in London
UK election results: Live updates | CNN (48)

Jeremy Corbyn is seen at the vote counting in Islington.

Labour’s ex-leader, the left-wing politician Jeremy Corbyn, has defeated his former party in a unique battle in London’s Islington North, dealing a symbolic blow to his successor Keir Starmer.

Corbyn led Labour to two election defeats in 2017 and 2019, and was later suspended by the party for his response to an antisemitism scandal that erupted within Labour under his watch.

But the left-wing veteran mounted a challenge as an independent candidate in the north London constituency he has represented since 1983. He defeated Labour’s Praful Nargund, winning 24,120 votes to Nargund’s 16,873.

“Our campaign was a positive one. Our campaign did not get into the gutter of politics, as is too often happening in this country,” Corbyn said after winning.

Winning this seat was a huge priority for Labour, both as a symbolic marker of how dramatically the party’s ideology has shifted since Corbyn’s tenure, and to avoid the prospect of the politician leading a small throng of left-wing opponents to Starmer within parliament.

Now Corbyn will be expected to lead a throng of opposition from Labour’s left as Starmer looks set to govern in the coming years.

Two Cabinet ministers lose seconds apart

From CNN's Lauren Said-Moorhouse and Rob Picheta in London
UK election results: Live updates | CNN (49)

Britain's Defence Secretary Grant Shapps is pictured arriving for the King's Birthday Parade, "Trooping the Colour," in London on June 15.

Two Conservative Cabinet ministers have lost their seats just seconds apart, as the scale of the Tories’ misery increases on a devastating election night.

Defence Secretary Grant Shapps lost his seat to Labour in Welwyn Hatfield, the most high-profile defeat of the night so far.

Shapps has held a number of Cabinet positions under different prime ministers, including energy security and net zero secretary, business, energy and industrial strategy secretary and home secretary. He was elected to parliament in 2005.

He lost his seat to Labour’s Andrew Lewin, who won by 3,799 votes. It’s quite the fall from grace after he secured his seat back in 2019 with a majority of almost 11,000 votes.

He had been one of a number of prominent Tory candidates expected to lose their seat after the exit poll released.

Almost at the same time, Justice Secretary Alex Chalk lost his seat to the Liberal Democrats.

UK election results: Live updates | CNN (50)

Justice Secretary Alex Chalk leaves Downing Street in London following the weekly cabinet meeting on March 12.

The twin defeats painted the perfect picture of a miserable night for the Conservatives, who have been carved up by Labour and the Lib Dems across the country.

And it could get worse – more Cabinet ministers are at risk, including the Chancellor Jeremy Hunt – in what could be an unprecedented evening.

What the UK front pages are looking like

From CNN's Lauren Said-Moorhouse in London

We’re starting to get a glimpse of the Friday morning front pages which are obviously being dominated by the results of the exit poll, which foreshadows a Labour landslide and an undeniably poor showing from the Conservatives.

The Sun has opted to emphasize Labour’s win with the electoral map and a front page emblazoned with “Britain sees red.”

Tabloid paper the Daily Mirror has a full page shot of the Labour leader and his wife as they cast their vote onThursday, with the headline: “KEIR WE GO.”

Meanwhile, the Daily Express has gone with “CRUSHING BLOW TO TORY PARTY IN ELECTION WIPEOUT” with a photo of Conservative Party leader Rishi Sunak and his wife.

Keir Starmer says "it is time for us to deliver" after winning seat

From CNN's Rob Picheta and Billy Stockwell in London

Ker Starmer, who seems likely to be Britain’s next prime minister, said the country is “ready for change” after winning his seat in north London.

“Tonight, people here and around the country have spoken. They are ready for change,” Starmer said at the count.

Starmer was beaming as he arrived at the count, posing for selfies and taking his time to work his way through supporters and activists.

On stage, he was joined by a number of novelty candidates – including one dressed as Elmo – a unique feature of British democracy.

“I promise this: Whether you voted for me or not, I will serve every person in this constituency,” Starmer said.

Left-wing populist George Galloway loses his seat to Labour

By CNN's Rob Picheta in London
UK election results: Live updates | CNN (51)

GeorgeGallowayspeaks during a press conference on Parliament Square in London, on April 30.

Labour has narrowly defeated the left-wing populist George Galloway in a key race in Rochdale, easing concerns within the party that its stance on Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza had damaged its reputation among Muslim voters.

Galloway won this seat months ago in a by-election, running on a heavily pro-Palestinian platform in the northwestern English town, which has a large Muslim population.

But Labour has returned to power in the constituency, beating Galloway by 33% to 29%.

Labour was initially strongly supportive of Israel’s war against Hamas, but it has become increasingly critical of its conduct in Gaza and now supports a ceasefire, along with the return of hostages held by Hamas.

Its early response nonetheless hit its support among Muslim voters during May’s local elections, a trend that has worried many in the party.

Populist Reform UK party wins its first seat of the night

From CNN's Rob Picheta in London
UK election results: Live updates | CNN (52)

Lee Anderson addresses delegates during a rally in Stafford, England, on June 23.

Reform UK’s Lee Anderson has won election in Ashfield, giving the right-wing populist group its first victory of the night.

Anderson was formerly the deputy chair of the Conservative Party, but he defected to Reform in January, criticizing Rishi Sunak’s record on controlling migration.

He called Ashfield the “capital of common sense,” telling people at his count: “This wonderful place which I call my home is going to have a massive say in how this country is shaped in the future. I want my country back and Ashfield can play their part in that.”

Winning this seat was a key target for the right-wing party, and it will hope to add a second soon, when results are announced in Clacton, where the party’s leader Nigel Farage is standing.

Reform were projected to win 13 seats in the exit poll. But the party earlier failed to pick up two seats in which the exit poll had projected them winners, suggesting it may fall short of that eye-catching overall predicted figure.

“Reports of my demise had been greatly exaggerated,” Labour’s Dan Jarvis joked, after winning Barnsley North despite the exit poll projecting he would lose it to Reform.

"I've watched colleagues say stupid things:" Furious backlash underway among Conservatives

From CNN's Rob Picheta and Billy Stockwell in London
UK election results: Live updates | CNN (53)

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak speaks during a campaign visit to Stoke, England, on July 1.

An angry backlash among Conservatives has begun, with senior Tory figures hitting out at the direction of the party under Rishi Sunak.

Robert Buckland, the former justice minister who was ousted by Labour in Swindon earlier this evening, launched a blistering attack on his former colleagues after becoming the first Tory to lose their seat earlier tonight.

“I’m fed up with performance art politics,” Buckland told the BBC. “I’ve watched colleagues in the Conservative Party strike poses, write inflammatory op-eds and say stupid things they have no evidence for instead of concentrating on doing the job that they were elected to do.

“I think we’ve seen in this election astonishing ill-discipline within the party,” he added.

And the party was attacked from the right, too.

Andrea Leadsom, a former business secretary, told the BBC the party was no longer “Conservative enough,” and said voters are “sick of all this woke stuff.”

It epitomizes the problem Sunak has faced throughout his premiership: an inability to appease either the left or right flanks of his party.

Sunak has flirted with populist messaging — particularly on migration — and promoted right-wing colleagues to government posts. But those decisions often ended in rows, such as with Lee Anderson and Suella Braverman, both of whom quit their roles in protest at Sunak’s failure to bring down illegal migration.

Sunak has meanwhile failed to build bridges with the moderate wing of his party, with many center-right lawmakers alienated by his approach and imploring the party to compete with Labour for votes in the center ground of British politics.

Starmer has "net unfavorability ratings" despite predicted landslide for Labour, expert tells CNN

From CNN's Catherine Nicholls in London
UK election results: Live updates | CNN (54)

Labour leader Keir Starmer appears at an event in Southampton, England, on June 17.

Despite a predicted landslide win for the UK’s Labour Party, its leader Keir Starmer may have some work to do on his favorability raings, according to one think tank director.

“We see net unfavorability ratings for Keir Starmer, even though he’s going to have this massive, massive majority,” Anand Menon, director of think tank UK in a Changing Europe told CNN. “Beneath this sort of happy story for Labour, there are some warning signs about levels of dissatisfaction with prevailing political trends in this country.”

Menon noted that Starmer intends to “reset relations with European states and the European Union” after a tumultuous few years between the UK and EU after Brexit.

People in the UK are “disillusioned,” said Menon, who is a professor of European Politics and Foreign Affairs at King’s College London. “If you look at the polling, there’s a significant majority of people saying Brexit was the wrong decision, not the right decision.”

“If you do a focus group with voters, they might say Brexit has been bad, Brexit has been a failure. But if you say to them, how about we do another referendum then and go through it all again? You will get a collective eyeroll and a groan and say actually, please, let’s not go through that again,” he told CNN.

How Labour's "ming vase" campaign steered it to victory

Analysis from CNN's Rob Picheta in London
UK election results: Live updates | CNN (55)

Campaign signage for Britain's Labour party is seen in Guildford, England, on June 14, ahead of the UK general election.

The Labour Party had a very good problem at the start when the election was called: How do you run a campaign that absolutely everyone expects you to win?

Keir Starmer’s party had enjoyed a double-digit lead in opinion polls for the entirety of Rishi Sunak’s premiership, which began in October 2022, and was guaranteed to win the election as long as it didn’t rock the boat during the six-week campaign.

Labour appealed to an electorate tired of the Tories’ chaotic period in government with a single-word slogan: “Change.” But Starmer simultaneously followed a path that some party strategists took to calling a “ming vase” approach, metaphorically looking after a precious and delicate lead in opinion polls. The party repeated its key themes, avoided the temptation to unveil any major policy announcements, and pledged time after time that the party would keep a tight lid on public finances.

The party’s manifesto was modest, pledging to revive Britain’s flagging public services without a large injection of cash. That has raised eyebrows by independent watchdogs, including the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), which said their public spending offer was “tiny, going on trivial.”

But that was a calculation Labour has stuck to, as they sought to gain a reputation as a sensible, moderate party that can appeal to former Tory voters.

Starmer avoided gaffes, and didn’t interrupt his opponent Rishi Sunak when he was making mistakes of his own.

And he became an increasingly difficult rival for the Conservatives to land successful attacks against. Sunak strived to convince voters that Starmer would increase taxes, make Britain less safe, and that he didn’t have the stamina for the job of prime minister — but none of these charges appear to have stuck.

Labour’s projected victory is a personal triumph for Keir Starmer that once seemed impossible

Analysis by CNN's Luke McGee in London
UK election results: Live updates | CNN (56)

Labour leader Keir Starmer smiles on the final day of campaigning in Whitland, Wales, on July 3.

The Labour Party’s projected victorymarks a historic moment in modern British political history and a huge personal triumph forKeir Starmer,the Labour leader who is set to become the country’s next prime minister.

The UK broadcasters’ exit poll suggests Labour will have a parliamentary majority of 170, returning the party to office for the first time since it lost the 2010 election to the Conservatives, who have been in power ever since.

Starmer’s victory is all the more remarkable considering the journey that Labour has been on since thelast general election in 2019. Then, the party suffered its worst loss in a generation under former leader Jeremy Corbyn, who stood on a hard-left platform.

A path back to credibility and even being competitive in a general election looked potentially a decade off, as the Conservatives emerged triumphant from the carnage of Brexit under the charismatic – but chaotic – leadership of Boris Johnson.

Johnson not only defeated his political rivals, but completely upended the norms of British politics. Under his leadership, his party won seats in traditional working-class Labour areas once deemed out of reach to Conservatives. For a year at least,he seemed untouchable.

It was in this context that Starmer took control of a broken Labour Party on April 4, 2020. On that day, David Lammy, one of his Labour colleagues, took him to one side and warned Starmer: “Set yourself a 10-year cycle. You might just lose the next election, and then you can go again.”

According to Lammy, Starmer smiled and said “No, I can do this in five.”

Read more here

Labour will work with Trump if he becomes US president, UK's shadow foreign secretary says

From CNN's Catherine Nicholls in London
UK election results: Live updates | CNN (57)

Shadow Foreign SecretaryDavidLammyattends a Welsh Labour general election campaign event in Abergavenny, Wales, on May 30.

A Labour government would work with Donald Trump if he is voted back in as US president, the UK’s shadow foreign secretary has said. Labour is projected to win 410 seats in the British election and take a massive parliamentary majority of 170 seats, according to the exit poll.

When asked if Labour would work with Trump, David Lammy told ITV his party would work “with whomever the American people decide should be incumbent at the White House.”

He noted that both the UK and US are “democratic countries,” highlighting that the two countries work successfully together in areas such as intelligence and armed forces.

"The British people have chosen change:" Labour politicians react with delight to exit poll

From CNN's Billy Stockwell in London
UK election results: Live updates | CNN (58)

Labour leader Keir Starmer speaks at an event on July 3, in East Kilbride, Scotland.

Senior Labour politicians have praised Keir Starmer for taking his party to the “cusp of power” following its projected success in the exit poll.

Labour’s shadow health secretary WesStreeting said he was “delighted” by the exit poll, which he called “remarkable.”

“I’ve seen many exit polls over the years. They don’t tend to look like these ones, and ifwehave won this general election, that is historic for the Labour Party,” he told the BBC.

In the first victory speech of the night, Labour shadow education secretary BridgetPhillipson, who won Houghton and Sunderland South, said the British people have “chosen the leadership of Keir Starmer.”

“Tonight the British people have spoken and if the exit poll this evening is again a guide to results across our country – as it so often is – then after 14 years the British people have chosen change,” she said.

Labour Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said Starmer had demonstrated “a sense of conviction and confidence.”

“It’s been difficult, there have been some wobbly moments… In my wildest dreams, four and a half years ago, did I think we’d be here? No,” he told the BBC. He added that the Labour Party under the leadership of Starmer has been taken to “the cusp of power.”

"This, folks, is huge." Farage celebrates exit poll and falsely criticizes media

From CNN's Billy Stockwell in London
UK election results: Live updates | CNN (59)

Reform UK party leader Nigel Farage arrives to deliver a stump speech to supporters on July 3, in Clacton-on-Sea, England.

Reform UK’s leader Nigel Farage has described his party’s projected success in the UK election as “huge.”

In a video posted on X, Farage said: “It’s midnight. There are two results in from the northeast of England that put Reform on 30% of the vote. That is way more than any possible prediction or projection. It’s almost unbelievable.”

The UK broadcasters’ exit poll predicts that Reform –which did not exist in its current form at the last UK general election –will win 13 seats.

“What does it mean? It means we’re going to win seats. Many, many seats, I think, right now across the country,” Farage added.

“This is going to be six million votes plus. This, folks, is huge.”

Farage also attacked the media claiming that no Reform spokespeople were featured in election night coverage. “There’s not a single representative on there from Reform UK,” he said – a claim that was demonstrably false. Britain’s Channel 4 played the clip and then cut directly to a Reform representative in the studio, Ann Widdecombe.

The BBC and Sky News had featured David Bull, the deputy leader of Reform, prominently in their live coverage.

As Europe turns right, why is a center-left party projected to win by a landslide in the UK?

Analysis by CNN's Luke McGee in London
UK election results: Live updates | CNN (60)

People celebrate exit poll results at a "Stop The Tories" election afterparty in London, on July 4.

The United Kingdom’s decision to hand the center-left Labour Party a parliamentary majority, according to the exit poll, comes at the same time Europe is broadly in the grip of what some call a right-wing populist surge.

Last month’sEuropean electionssaw a historic number of lawmakers from hard-right and far-right parties elected to the European Parliament. The results caused such chaos that French President Emmanuel Macron called a snap parliamentary election in his own country, the first round of which the far-right National Rallywon last week.

A government comprised of far-right figures was formed in the Netherlands this week. Italy is led by the most right-wing leader since the rule of fascist wartime leader Benito Mussolini. These electoral victories and the prospect of populist right-wingers in power is no longer a surprise in European countries.

There are many reasons for this rise in populism, often unique to individual countries. But broadly speaking, a number of European countries are suffering from sluggish economies, high immigration and higher energy prices, due in part to the drive for carbon net zero. The European Union is often blamed for national woes by populist politicians and breathes oxygen into an increasingly Euroskeptic national discourse.

So why is Britain, the only country where Euroskepticism led to a referendum on EU membership, projected to buck this trend?

Despite the expected seat count, the British right is far from dead. The Conservative Party, despite its undeniably disappointing night, is set to outperform the expectations of a number of opinion polls during the campaign, some of which had it down to double digits in parliament.

Another party that is set to exceed polling expectations is the populist right-wing Reform UK, led by long-term scourge of the Conservatives, Nigel Farage, who is perhaps best known these days for his friendship with former US President Donald Trump. Before this, he was credited with making Brexit possible after decades of campaigning against the UK’s membership of the EU.

Farage’s political success to date has all come without him holding a parliamentary seat. Now he is not only projected to have a seat himself, but also 12 colleagues to hurl grenades at Labour leader Keir Starmer. While this may seem small fry compared to Starmer’s anticipated three-figure majority, Farage will no doubt influence the debate on the future direction of the Conservative Party, possibly dragging it further to the right.

It is possible that Farage’s splitting of the right has actually helped Starmer increase his majority in parliament. An odd quirk of British politics is that the percentage of votes a party gets doesn’t necessarily translate to seats. And with Reform performing well in many of the seats that Labour will ultimately win, the hard-right will not only be impossible to ignore in this parliament, but it could easily see its influence grow further.

Britain suffers from many of the same problems as other European countries. If Starmer falters as prime minister, there is every chance that the popular right could continue to capture the public’s imagination, as it has elsewherein Europe.

Labour gains first new seat of the night, sweeping out a former Conservative minister in Swindon South

From CNN's Rob Picheta in London

The first of many Labour gains has just been announced – the party has taken Swindon South from the Conservatives.

Robert Buckland, who served as a justice minister in Boris Johnson’s government, has been ousted by Heidi Alexander, a former Labour MP who returned to contest this seat.

The seat, in western England, was won by the Conservatives last time with an 11% lead, according to the notional results. But Labour earned a thumping majority this time – they won 21,676 votes to the Conservatives’ 12,070.

A disastrous Conservative campaign puts the party on the brink of a worst-ever defeat

From CNN's Christian Edwards in London
UK election results: Live updates | CNN (61)

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak delivers a speech calling for a general election outside 10 Downing Street in London, on May 22.

The sight was pitiful – and could easily have been avoided. When Rishi Sunak called the snap vote outside 10 Downing Street, he was drowned out – first by the pouring rain, then by the sound of the D:Ream song “Things Can Only Get Better,” the anthem of Labour’s 1997 election landslide, blaring from a nearby boombox.

Things did not get better for the Conservatives. The campaign went from bad to worse, ending in what is projected to be a heavy defeat. Trying to make smalltalk at a Welsh brewery at an early campaign event, Sunak asked punters if they were excited for the soccer, only to be reminded that Wales had not qualified for the ongoing European Championship. In another campaign stop at the Northern Ireland shipyard that built the Titanic, Sunak, seemingly unaware of the irony, was asked if he, too, was captaining a sinking ship.

But those gaffes look minor when compared to Sunak’s disastrous decision to leave the 80th anniversary commemorations of the D-Day landings early to give a routine TV interview that would not air until the following week. The Tories’ patriotic heartlands were outraged: The prime minister left veterans on the beaches. Nigel Farage, the leader of the hard-right Reform UK party, was delighted: Here was an opportunity to snatch more votes from dyspeptic Tories.

Meanwhile, one last sleaze scandal had been brewing. It was revealed that two Conservative candidates and its director of campaigning were under investigation by the gambling watchdog for allegedly placing bets on the date of the general election.

“Gamble-gate,” as it became known, summed up what for many voters may be their lasting impression of the outgoing Conservative government: A prime minister too weak to control many of his party, and a party more interested in its own fortunes than those of the country.

In pictures: Labour Party leader Keir Starmer

CNN Photos

The center-left Labour Party will win Britain’s general election by a landslide, according to a major exit poll, ending a 14-year era of Conservative rule in decisive fashion and putting its leader Keir Starmer on course to become prime minister.

UK election results: Live updates | CNN (62)

Labour Party leader Keir Starmer makes a campaign speech in Redditch, England, in July 2024, a day before the general election. Starmer has been Labour Party leader since April 2020.

Once a leading human-rights lawyer, Starmer became director of public prosecutions in 2008, running the Crown Prosecution Service of England and Wales — a high-profile job for which he was knighted, making him the first-ever Labour leader to enter the job with the prefix Sir to their name.

UK election results: Live updates | CNN (63)

Keir Starmer arrives at London's High Court in 2012 to give evidence at the Leveson Inquiry, which looked into the culture, practices and ethics of the media.

Starmer, 61, has promised to be the agent of change that Britain needs. He has pledged to grow the country’s economy by reforming planning laws and investing in a new industrial strategy. He has said he will set up a national wealth fund with £7.3 billion ($9.2 billion) of public money that will help pay for the transition to net zero emissions.

Critics on the right say that Starmer will need to raise taxes to fund his plans, while skeptics on the left say his manifesto is not bold or ambitious enough to change Britain for the better.

UK election results: Live updates | CNN (64)

Starmer speaks at the House of Commons in December 2022.

See more photos from Starmer’s career.

Labour win a second seat, and the Conservatives slump again

From CNN's Rob Picheta in London

Labour has won Blyth and Ashington, the second seat of the night to declare, with the populist Reform UK party again putting in a strong showing and coming second.

Labour won 50% of the vote to Reform’s 27%, and the Tories slipped to 15%.

This is a new constituency, created after the boundaries of the UK’s 650 seats were adjusted following the most recent election in 2019. The borders of most seats in the country have changed at least slightly since that vote, as they do every few decades.

But Labour would have won this seat with 48% of the vote had it existed in 2019, to the Conservatives’ 34%, according to notional calculations.

The UK's exit poll is usually very accurate

UK election results: Live updates | CNN (65)

Ballot boxes are emptied at Emirates Arena in Glasgow, Scotland, on Thursday, July 4.

A reminder: the UK’s election exit poll is usually a very accurate barometer of how many seats each party has won.

But, as politicians are reminding broadcasters, it is just a poll.

The exit poll was conducted Thursday at polling stations across the country, collecting a huge sample from across the UK of how people voted. It is then modelled by a panel of experts, and closely guarded from the public and the media.

In 2019, the exit poll predicted the Conservatives would win 368 seats, just three more than they did when the final results were in. Two years earlier, it missed the Tories’ seat total by three, this time in the opposite direction.

The first results from the night are in

From CNN's Rob Picheta in London
UK election results: Live updates | CNN (66)

Bridget Phillipson, Labour's shadow Education Secretary, speaks after winning the Houghton and Sunderland South constituency on July 4.

Sunderland South has won the race to declare the first results of the night – and they show a solid Labour result and a huge uptick for the populist party Reform UK.

Labour held the seat, as it was virtually certain to do, and Reform overtook the Conservatives to take second place.

Bridget Phillipson, Labour’s shadow Education Secretary, becomes the first MP to be elected into the new parliament.

What the results indicate: Labour won 47% of the vote in the seat, while Reform picked up 29%. The Conservatives slipped to just 14%.

This is a traditional Labour stronghold, though the party won it by a narrower margin at the 2019 election – picking up 41% of the vote to 33% for the Conservatives.

More clues as to the results of the night will come soon, as a handful of seats are expected to declare in the next half hour.

But Conservatives will be concerned by their drop in Sunderland, while Reform will be hopeful that it can establish itself as a second-placed party in many more seats, while gaining a handful across the country.

Exit poll projection of a Labour landslide has margins similar to Tony Blair's 1997 win

From CNN's Catherine Nicholls in London
UK election results: Live updates | CNN (67)

Tony Blair arrives in Downing Street in London, following his 1997 election victory.

Labour’s predicted landslide win is a similar margin to the one that swept the party’s then leader Tony Blair into Downing Street in 1997, according to Gideon Skinner, senior UK Director of Politics at market research company Ipsos.

Skinner told CNN the predicted Labour win could be due, in part, to tactical voting among typical Labour and Liberal Democrat voters.

In 1997, Blair’s Labour party won 418 seats, the largest majority of seats since 1945. The Conservative Party won 165 seats.

According to this year’s exit poll, Labour will win 410 seats.That will hand Keir Starmer a massive parliamentary majority of 170 seats, just shy of the party’s greatest-ever result.

The Conservatives drop to just 131 seats, a stunning collapse by a governing party, according to the poll.

“A massacre:” Senior Tories react to exit poll results

From CNN's Billy Stockwell in London
UK election results: Live updates | CNN (68)

The general election exit poll is projected onto BBC Broadcasting House in London on July 4.

Senior Conservative politicians have responded with shock to the Labour Party’s projected landslide win in Britain’s general election.

Ruth Davidson, the former leader of the Scottish Conservative Party, told Sky News: “There is no dressing it up, this is a massacre.”

Former Conservative Justice Secretary Robert Buckland, who is forecast to lose his seat, told Sky News that he is “used to what defeat looks like and I’m prepared for it.” But he said he hoped his political life would continue. “I’ll be leaving parliament to spend more time on politics,” he quipped.

Steve Baker, who was Rishi Sunak’s Minister of State for Northern Ireland, told the BBC that “it’s a pretty devastating night for the Conservative Party.” Baker is also projected to lose his seat.

Baker said that he’s got a “great deal of respect for Rishi Sunak.” He later added: “I think he will do what he believes is in the national interest.”

Shortly before polls closed at 10 p.m., Sunak thanked voters on X. He said: “To the hundreds of Conservative candidates, thousands of volunteers and millions of voters: Thank you for your hard work, thank you for your support, and thank you for your vote.”

How each party has fared in the exit poll

From CNN's Rob Picheta in London
UK election results: Live updates | CNN (69)

Labour is projected to win 410 seats, and a massive majority of 170 seats. This would fall just short of the party’s best-ever result, in 1997, when Tony Blair’s Labour won 418 seats, a majority of 179. The result is in line with what pollsters had projected for Labour, which has enjoyed a huge lead in public opinion for years and had held onto that advantage throughout the campaign.

For the Conservatives, the result is calamitous. The party, which has earned a reputation over the decades as a ruthless election winner, is projected to win just suffer its worst result since its modern iteration was formed in the 1830s. It is an overwhelming rejection of a ruling party by the British electorate, which has dumped the party from government.

The centrist Liberal Democrats will be pleased with their result, which puts them on course to return as the UK’s third-largest party. The group has suffered since it joined the Tories in a coalition government between 2010 and 2015, but voters have seemingly forgiven them for that stint.

The Scottish National Party, a pro-independence group that has dominated politics in Scotland for a generation, will be devastated with the forecast. It signals that the Labour Party has regained its historic strength in Scotland and represents a setback for the Scottish independence movement.

And Reform UK, the right-wing populist group led by Nigel Farage, has been forecast to win more seats that most pollsters expected. Farage has hammered the Conservatives on their failure to bring down legal and illegal migration, and had been expected to win the seat where he was standing in Clacton, east of London.

Keir Starmer thanks voters and campaigners, as exit poll puts him on the cusp of power

Labour leader Keir Starmer has thanked campaigners and voters, but he hasn’t commented yet on the results of the exit poll that forecast him a huge majority.

Angela Rayner, Labour’s deputy leader, said the exit poll numbers were “encouraging.”

“Keir Starmer has done a tremendous job of transforming the Labour Party and putting forward a program for government that I’m hopeful that people have got behind,” she told BBC immediately after the poll numbers dropped.

Rayner said it would “be an absolute honor and a privilege to be reelected,”but added, “I’m not counting my chickens until we’ve got those results coming in.”

See the full exit poll results

UK election results: Live updates | CNN (70)

An exit poll is projected onto BBC Broadcasting House in London, on July 4.

Here’s the full seat breakdown from the exit poll just released.

It’s a huge return for the Labour Party, a monumental collapse for the Conservatives just five years after they won a landslide election victory, and impressive showings for the centrist Liberal Democrats and the right-wing populist party Reform UK.

  • Labour: 410 seats
  • Conservatives: 131
  • Liberal Democrats: 61
  • Reform UK: 13
  • Scottish National Party: 10
  • Others: 25

Labour will win 410 seats, exit poll projects, enough for a huge parliamentary majority

From CNN's Rob Picheta in London
UK election results: Live updates | CNN (71)

Election workers are seen in Sunderland, northern England, on Thursday July 4.

Labour will win 410 seats, according to the major exit poll just released. That will hand Keir Starmer a massive parliamentary majority of 170 seats, just shy of the party’s greatest-ever result.

The Conservatives drop to just 131 seats, a stunning collapse by a governing party, according to the poll.

The Liberal Democrats will return as the third largest party, with 61 seats.

Read the full story here.

BREAKING: UK'scenter-left Labour Party will win general election in a landslide, exit poll projects

From CNN's Rob Picheta in London
UK election results: Live updates | CNN (72)

UK Labour Party leader Keir Starmer arrives at a polling station in London on July 4.

Thecenter-leftLabour Partywill winBritain’s general election by a landslide, according to a majorexitpoll, ending a 14-year era of Conservative rule in decisive fashion and putting its leader Keir Starmer on course to become prime minister in the coming hours.

This is a breaking news story. More details soon…

We're minutes away from the exit poll

Get ready: the exit poll for Britain’s general election will be released in 10 minutes.

This is a huge poll, conducted today at polling stations across the country, that forecasts the number of seats each party has won.

It’s historically an accurate picture of the how the election went, and will set up the narrative of the evening.

What is King Charles III's role in the election?

From CNN’s Lauren Said-Moorhousein London
UK election results: Live updates | CNN (73)

King Charles III takes part in the Ceremony of the Keys on the forecourt of the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, Scotland on July 2.

You may have noticed King Charles III hasn’t been out and about quite as much over the last six weeks and it’s not for the reason you think.

In fact, soon after Rishi Sunak called for a general election, Buckingham Palace announced the family would postpone engagements “which may appear to divert attention or distract from theelection campaign.”

While the palace doesn’t usually spell this out, it is pretty standard practice as the royals must stay neutral and above politics. As this is the first general election of Charles III’s reign, there may have been a desire from within the institution to emphasize this. So, what is the 75-year-old King’s role in the election, and can he vote?

First off, the PM informed King Charles of his decision to call for a general election. That conversation happened on May 22, and it was at that point that the King agreed to Sunak’s request for the dissolution of parliament. Theoretically, Charles could have refused the request but that would be unprecedented in modern times.

The King has spent the past few days in Scotland for “Holyrood Week,” an annual celebration in the royal calendar recognizing Scottish culture and community. However, he will be needed back in London by Friday. That’s because the day after a general election, the monarch invites the leader of the party that won the most seats in the House of Commons to Buckingham Palace.

As head of state, the appointment of prime ministers is one of Charles’s core constitutional duties, along with the State Opening of Parliament and signing parliamentary bills into law. During the audience, they become prime minister and are invited to form a government in His Majesty’s name.

What election day has looked like across Britain

Voters up and down Britain have been putting their cross in their ballot papers, as church halls, schools and sports centers turn into polling stations for the day.

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A dog waits outside a polling station as voters go to the polls in the UK general election on July 4, in Ingleby Cross, England.

And plenty of Brits brought their four-legged companions along for the experience.

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A voter wrangles their dogs at a polling station in Glasgow, Scotland.

Broadcasters can’t report much about the election while polls are open – but there’s no rules preventing us from showing you as many democratic dogs as possible.

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A group of dogs are posed for a photo at a polling station in London.

There’s less than an hour until we can bring you some real news – that’s when the exit poll will drop and we’ll get a sense of how the day has gone for all the parties.

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A dog waits outside a polling station in Great Ayton, England.

What to expect - and when - during election night in Britain

From CNN's Rob Picheta in London
UK election results: Live updates | CNN (78)

Voters enter a polling station in Rhiwbina, north of Cardiff, Wales, on July 4.

Vote-counting in Britain begins the second that polls close, and we should have an idea of the winner a few hours later. Here’s a rough timeline of the night:

  • The exit poll: At 10 p.m. local time (5 p.m. ET), the very second that polling stations across the UK close, a major exit poll will project the results of the night. The massive poll is conducted during election day, by pollster Ipsos, for the country’s main broadcasters – the BBC, ITV and Sky. Historically, it’s been an accurate guide to how the night will unfold.
  • The first results: Around an hour and an half later, at 11:30 p.m. (6:30 p.m. ET), is when we can expect the first real results of the night. There’s always a race between a handful of seats in the northeast to declare first; the results here will give us clues as to which parties have had a good night.
  • Key seats declare: By 2 a.m. (9 p.m. ET), we’ll have seen a handful of results and we’ll start to understand the narratives of the evening.
  • A flood of results: Between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. (10 p.m. and midnight ET) is when results come in thick and fast, and by the time this period is finished, we usually know who’s won and who’s lost the election.
  • A trip to the King: After 9 a.m. (4 a.m. ET) is when we expect the winner of the election to travel to Buckingham Palace, where he will meet King Charles III and receive permission to form Britain’s next government.

Why can’t we report anything about the election yet?

By CNN's Rob Picheta in London
UK election results: Live updates | CNN (79)

Members of the media set up broadcast positions in view of the Houses of Parliament in London, on Thursday, July 4.

There is a limit to how much we can tell you about Britain’s election – at least until polls close in an hour or so.

That’s because the country has strict rules on reporting while people are still voting. They apply to all broadcasters licensed in the United Kingdom, including CNN, forbidding them from reporting on campaign issues, opinion polls, political statements and candidates until the polling stations shut in the evening.

The restrictions are far stronger than in many countries, such as the United States, where candidates continue campaigning on election day as they try to drive as many voters to the polls as possible.

The UK’s Office of Communications (Ofcom) enforces the regulations, which are designed to ensure political coverage is impartial and to prevent the media from influencing voters as ballots are being cast.

It means that on election day, you won’t hear journalists or pundits speculating about politics on Britain’s TV and radio airwaves, or on digital sites.

But that all changes at 10 p.m. local time (5 p.m. ET), the moment polls close.

How does the UK’s general election work?

UK election results: Live updates | CNN (80)

A ballot box is pictured at Agape Centre in Belfast, Northern Ireland, ahead of polling stations opening on Thursday.

Britain has a first-past-the-post voting system – the make-up of its next parliament won’t be decided by vote share, but by how many seats each party wins.

People have been casting ballots in each of the country’s 650 constituencies, selecting the member of parliament (MP) to represent the area.

The leader of the party that wins a majority of those constituencies becomes prime minister, and can form a government. That means 326 is the magic number for an overall majority.

If no party reaches that mark, the largest party could seek to lead as a minority government, or it could enter a coalition with other groups to get it over the line.

Polls are closing soon in Britain’s general election

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People queue to vote at a polling station in London on July 4, as Britain holds a general election.

People across Britain have been casting ballots in a general election, after a six-week campaign that has seen parties criss-cross the country.

Rishi Sunak’s Conservative Party have ruled Britain for 14 years, but are being challenged for power by the Labour Party, led by Keir Starmer.

Polls opened at 7 a.m. (2 a.m. ET) and will close very soon, at 10 p.m. (5 p.m. ET).

At that very moment, an exit poll will be released projecting who has won and how well parties have performed. Then votes will be counted through the night; a new government could be in place by late morning on Friday.

We’ll bring you results and analysis through the night on this page.

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