Starmer Vows To Bring Change After Labour Wins UK Election

Keir Starmer has vowed to bring change to Britain as its next prime minister, following his Labour Party’s decisive victory in the recent parliamentary elections on Friday, ending 14 years of Conservative rule.

The centre-left Labour Party achieved an overwhelming majority in the 650-seat parliament, with Rishi Sunak’s Conservative Party experiencing its worst-ever defeat amid voter backlash over a cost of living crisis, failing public services, and multiple scandals.

“We did it,” Starmer said in a victory speech. “Change begins now… We said we would end the chaos, and we will. We said we would turn the page, and we have.”

“Today, we start the next chapter, begin the work of change, the mission of national renewal, and start to rebuild our country.”

With a few results yet to be declared, Labour secured 410 seats, the Conservatives 117, and the centrist Liberal Democrats 70—their best performance to date.

About 250 Conservative lawmakers lost their seats, including a historic number of senior ministers and former Prime Minister Liz Truss.

Sunak acknowledged the defeat, mentioning his call to Starmer to congratulate him, asserting, “Today, power transitions peacefully and orderly, with goodwill from all sides.”

“There are many lessons to be learned, and I take full responsibility for our loss, for which I apologize to the many dedicated Conservative candidates.”

Despite his significant win, polls indicate a lack of enthusiasm for Starmer and his party.

Due to the peculiarities of Britain’s first-past-the-post electoral system, Labour’s victory appears to have been secured with fewer votes than those received in 2017 and 2019, the latter marking their poorest electoral performance in 84 years.

Starmer also assumes leadership during a period fraught with formidable challenges for the country.

The UK’s tax burden is poised to reach its highest level since just after World War II, net debt nearly equals the annual economic output, living standards have declined, and public services, including the highly valued National Health Service, are under strain, exacerbated by ongoing strikes.

He has been forced to moderate some of Labour’s more ambitious initiatives, like major green spending commitments, while pledging not to increase taxes for “working people.”

“Changing a country is a formidable task, not akin to flicking a switch. It requires hard, patient, and determined work, and we must begin immediately,” Starmer remarked.

Rise of Reform

Amidst the Conservative Party’s losses, the right-wing Reform UK party, led by Brexit advocate Nigel Farage, significantly impacted Conservative support by focusing heavily on reducing immigration.

Starmer has committed to abolishing the Conservatives’ controversial policy of deporting asylum seekers to Rwanda. However, with immigration remaining a pivotal electoral issue, he faces the challenge of curbing the influx of migrants crossing the Channel from France in small boats.

The debate over the future direction of the Conservative Party started immediately post-election, with some attributing its failure to moving away from the center ground, while others credited the Reform party for appealing to traditional Conservative voters who felt abandoned.

Reform secured four seats, with Farage winning a seat in parliament on his eighth attempt, attracting over 4 million votes, often surpassing the Conservatives across many areas.

“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,” a triumphant Farage said. “Believe me, folks, this is just the first step of something that is going to stun all of you.”

The rise in support for a right-wing alternative reflects similar trends in Europe, where far-right movements have been gaining momentum.

However, unlike France, where Marine Le Pen’s National Rally party achieved historic success in a recent election, the British electorate ultimately favored a centre-left party to spearhead change.

Starmer has committed to enhancing relations with the European Union to address complications arising from Britain’s departure from the EU. Nevertheless, despite his opposition to Brexit, rejoining the EU is not being considered.

He might also need to collaborate with Donald Trump in the United States if Trump is victorious in the upcoming November presidential election. Trump has already extended his congratulations to his ally and supporter Farage through his platform, Truth Social.

While promising significant domestic reforms, Starmer has also pledged to maintain the UK’s firm support for Ukraine in its conflict with Russia. His foreign policy positions are largely aligned with those of Sunak.