The Speaker
Sunday, 14 July 2024 – 17:45
Sir Keir Starmer and his wife Victoria arrived in Downing Street on Friday and were greeted by supporters and staffers.
Sir Keir Starmer and his wife Victoria arrived in Downing Street on Friday | Photo by Simon Dawson/No 10 Downing Street via Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Sir Keir Starmer enters Downing Street as Prime Minister following historic election landslide

Sir Keir Starmer was appointed the UK’s new Prime Minister on Friday after winning a landslide victory in the General Election.

Labour won over 410 seats in the House of Commons at the election, gaining over 210 seats since the 2019 General Election. The results saw Labour with a huge majority in the Commons, with the Conservatives vote collapsing in constituencies throughout the country – ending 14 years of Conservative government.

The Conservatives won 121 seats – their worst ever result. Meanwhile, the SNP vote also collapsed, with the party losing nearly 40 seats to end the night in single figures.

Reform won 5 seats for the first time, including in the Clacton constituency contested by Nigel Farage. Reform came second to Labour in a significant number of seats, picking up 14% of the national vote share.

The Lib Dems, led by Ed Davey, had an excellent night winning their best ever number of seats at 71, up by 63 from 2019. The Green Party gained 3 seats to win 4, Sinn Fein won 7, Plaid Cymru won 4 and the DUP fell to 5 seats. A small number of seats were also won by other parties, and 6 were won by independents. The national turnout was significantly lower than in recent elections, and the Labour share of the vote was just 34%, despite winning a landslide.

Election night saw drama with numerous Conservative ministers losing their seats, including Penny Mordaunt, Grant Shapps, Gillian Keegan, Mark Harper and more. Other notable losses included Jacob Rees-Mogg and former Prime Minister Liz Truss.

Despite their landslide victory, Labour also lost some seats, with Jonathan Ashworth, Thangam Debbonaire and Kate Holden now no longer MPs. Other MPs also had tight races, with some against pro- Palestinian independent candidates.

While election night delivered a historic redrawing of the political map and drama in individual seats, the transition to the new Government was smooth on Friday morning. Rishi Sunak conceded defeat on behalf of the Conservatives to Keir Starmer in the early hours, with Labour crossing the number of seats needed for a majority around 5am.

Sunak left Downing Street with his wife shortly after 10:30 on Friday morning, apologising in a farewell speech and pledging to stand down as Conservative party leader in due course. His resignation as Prime Minister was accepted by the King, and Sir Keir Starmer was officially appointed the new Prime Minister later in the morning, before addressing crowds of supporters on Downing Street early on Friday afternoon. Both leaders were gracious in defeat and victory, with kind words for their opponents.

Prime Minister Starmer said his party had a clear mandate that it would use to deliver change. Cabinet posts were largely filled in the hours that followed, with most Shadow Ministers moving swiftly into the respective Cabinet roles in Government. Angela Rayner was appointed Deputy Prime Minister and Levelling Up Secretary, while Rachel Reeves became the country’s first female Chancellor.

Further appointments to the Government are expected over Friday and Saturday, with a Cabinet meeting expected to be held over the weekend as Labour begin their plans for delivering ‘national renewal’ and their first steps for change.

Skip to content