2024 UK general election results in graphics

The tectonic plates of British politics have shifted after Britons resoundingly voted to put an end to 14 years of Conservative rule, and deliver a landslide victory for the Labour Party.

Labour’s victory is bigger than the party could have imagined until fairly recently. At the last general election in 2019, it slumped to its worst defeat in more than 80 years and appeared set for a long period in the political wilderness.

But the party has since rebuilt itself under the leadership of Keir Starmer, who will now become the next prime minister of the United Kingdom.

Under Britain’s first-past-the-post voting system, people in 650 constituencies across the nations of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have voted to select their member of parliament (MP) to represent the area, producing a flurry of results in the early hours of Friday morning before almost all the results were tallied later that day. The final result of the election will not be announced until Saturday morning, however, due to a recount in the Inverness, Skye and West Ross-shire constituency.

A party needs 326 seats to officially win, a milestone that Labour cleared at around 5 a.m. local time on Friday, and the new government will have a commanding majority of more than 170 in the next parliament.

Because of its electoral system, Britain can see large discrepancies between the share of seats won by a party and its share of the popular vote.

If support for one party – or antipathy toward another – is spread fairly evenly across the country, it does not need to win a large share of the popular vote to win a huge majority of seats in parliament. Labour secured its landslide victory even as it won just about a third of the popular vote.

The results represent one of the largest swings in British political history, and a stunning defeat for the Conservative Party after 14 years in government, bringing a brutal end to Rishi Sunak’s premiership as his party lost around two-thirds of the 372 seats it was defending.

Britain’s traditional third party, the Liberal Democrats, also enjoyed a huge bump, going from just 11 seats won at the 2019 general election to more than 70 – its best result ever.

Nigel Farage’s right-wing, populist Reform UK party won its first five seats and came second in many more, splitting the right-wing vote and contributing to the Conservatives’ losses.

Meanwhile, in Scotland, the Scottish National Party (SNP) suffered a dismal night, with its number of seats slumping to just nine from 48 in 2019, as of Friday morning.

Elsewhere across the UK, Sinn Féin became the largest Northern Irish party in parliament, winning seven of the 18 seats there. Its MPs do not take up their seats, as part of the party’s refusal to recognize British sovereignty over Northern Ireland, given that it advocates for reuniting Northern Ireland with the Republic of Ireland in the south.

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