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Keir Starmer becomes new prime minister of the UK after labour win general election

Keir Starmer becomes new prime minister of the UK after labour win general election

The results of the 2024 General Election are in

Keir Starmer has become the new prime minister following a Labour landslide in the general election.

Conservatives conceded defeat after a record number of cabinet ministers lost their seats, with Tory leader Rishi Sunak admitting it had been a 'sobering' night.

“The Labour Party has won this general election and I have called Sir Keir Starmer to congratulate him on his victory," he said, adding: “The British people have delivered a sobering verdict tonight, there is much to learn… and I take responsibility for the loss.”

Starmer promised that 'change begins now', saying: "We did it. You campaigned for it, you fought for it, you voted for it, and now it has arrived – change begins now.

“It feels good, I have to be honest. Four-and-a-half years of work changing the party, this is what it is for – a changed Labour Party ready to serve our country, ready to restore Britain to the service of working people.

“And across our country, people will be waking up to the news, relief that a weight has been lifted, a burden finally removed from the shoulders of this great nation.

Keir Starmer becomes new prime minister (Jeff Moore/PA Wire)
Keir Starmer becomes new prime minister (Jeff Moore/PA Wire)

“And now we can look forward, walk into the morning, the sunlight of hope, pale at first but getting stronger through the day, shining once again, on a country with the opportunity after 14 years to get its future back.”

Polling stations were open from 7am yesterday (4 July) to give Brits the chance to cast their vote, with doors closing at 10pm for the count to take place.

It marked the first general election where voters are required to show photo ID before they can receive their ballot paper, following a law change in 2022.

In the lead up to the election, opinion polls suggested that Labour was on course to secure a majority in the House of Commons to form a new government.

However, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak vowed in his final speech on Wednesday evening (3 July): “This underdog will fight to the final whistle.”

Rishi Sunak. (Yui Mok - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Rishi Sunak. (Yui Mok - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

How are votes counted?

The UK does not use voting machines at general elections, which means all votes are counted manually overnight.

We know... painful, right?

Ballot papers are mixed with postal vote ballot papers - which will have been verified earlier it the day - and blank and spoilt votes are removed, before the official count begins.

In a UK parliamentary election, ‘reasonable steps’ must be taken to ensure votes start being counted within four hours of the polls closing, which means it’s often been a long night for those involved to get through the job quickly.

A black Labrador outside a polling station in Warwick. (PA)
A black Labrador outside a polling station in Warwick. (PA)

What happens after a general election?

Usually, the country is likely to know which party has won the most seats in the early hours the next day.

The King then asks the leader of the party with the highest number of MPs to become Prime Minister and to form a government, while the leader of the party with the second highest number becoming leader of the opposition.

When was the last general election?

The last general election was held on 12 December, 2019, less than five years ago.

The maximum term of a parliament is five years from the day it first met.

Keir Starmer. (Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)
Keir Starmer. (Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)

When does Parliament resume?

Parliament is due to resume on 9 July for the election of the Speaker, a process led by the Father of the House - the chamber’s longest standing MP.

All MPs will have to declare an oath of allegiance to the Crown - known as ‘swearing in’ - before parliamentary business can commence.

Meanwhile, the government will also be preparing for the King’s Speech, which is scheduled to follow the State Opening of Parliament on 17 July.

What’s next for the prime minister?

There are a number of international summits already schedule for the prime minister’s first few weeks, including a Nato summit in Washington DC between 9 and 11 July.

The prime minister will also host the European Political Community meeting at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire on 18 July, with around 50 European political leaders expected.

Featured Image Credit: Matthew Horwood/Getty Images/Cameron Smith/Getty Images

Topics: UK News, News, Politics