Exit poll: Labour to win landslide in general election

Labour have won a landslide victory in the general election, ending 14 years of Conservative rule, the exit poll suggests.

Sir Keir Starmer's party looks set to secure the win with an estimated 410 seats - equating to an overall majority of 170 - according to the poll by Ipsos UK for Sky News/BBC/ITV News.

Meanwhile, the Conservatives are projected to win just 131 seats, compared to 365 in the 2019 vote, which could be the party's lowest seat total in its history.

Some of the Tories' most senior figures are also predicted to lose their seats, including Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, Defence Secretary Grant Shapps and Veterans Minister Johnny Mercer.

And the first results of the night showed the current governing party being pushed into third place by Reform UK - as well as losing seats to Labour and the Liberal Democrats.

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Labour's deputy leader Angela Rayner downplayed the exit poll result, telling Sky News that while it was "encouraging", there was still a long way to go until the final numbers were in.

But she said Sir Keir had done a "tremendous job in transforming the Labour Party and putting forward a programme for government that the country can get behind".

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Conservative former justice secretary Sir Robert Buckland - speaking before he lost his seat in Swindon South to Labour - said his party had "got to respect the scale of this likely defeat and then learn from it".

He told Sky News: "I was a candidate in 1997 and I know what it feels like to taste bitter defeat. I think the time for recrimination is not now. I think a lot needs to be looked at in terms of the cumulative build up of events that led to this wholesale rejection of the Conservatives."

Here are the number of seats each party is expected to secure:

Labour: 410
Conservatives: 131
Liberal Democrats: 61
Reform: 13
SNP: 10
Plaid Cymru: 4
Green: 2
Other: 19

The poll suggests that while Labour have likely secured their anticipated landslide victory - more than doubling their result of 203 from five years ago - they may have fallen just short of the 179-seat majority Tony Blair won in 1997.

However, they may achieve the landslide on a smaller share of the vote than what Jeremy Corbyn secured in 2017.

Both the Conservative share of the vote and their seat tally could be the lowest recorded, falling below the 156 they won in 1906.

The Liberal Democrats are also projected to win more than five times the number of seats that they secured at the last election, going from 11 to 61, according to the exit poll.

If the predictions play out, they will take the title of the third largest party in the Commons away from the SNP, which is projected to fall from 48 seats in 2019 to just 10.

Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey said he was "humbled" by the poll, saying it would be "our best results in a century thanks to our positive campaign with health and care at its heart".

SNP leader John Swinney insisted his party had "fought a positive, upbeat campaign, firmly rooted in the values of the people of Scotland", and despite the projected result, he said: "Scotland will be glad to see the back of this disastrous Tory government and I am confident that SNP votes across the country will make that happen."

New entrants Reform could overtake the SNP with an expected seat count of 13, according to the exit poll, with leader Nigel Farage almost certain to win in Clacton - though the modelling says the party's final total is still uncertain.

To form a majority government in the Commons, a party needs to win at least 326 seats.

It appears the Conservatives have suffered heavily in places where more than a third of households have a mortgage - a reflection perhaps of the damage that the Liz Truss "fiscal event" had.

The Lib Dems have performed especially well in seats where they started second to the Conservatives - and particularly so in ones that the party held until 2015.

Read more:
Exit polls: How accurate are they?
Key timings of general election results

Mr Sunak - who took over from Ms Truss as prime minister in October 2022 - struggled to make headway in a general election campaign that was beset by mishaps from the start.

Commentators questioned the decision to allow the Conservative leader to announce the election in the pouring rain, as well as the overall timing - which although designed to catch his opponents off guard, also caught his own side by surprise.

A number of communication blunders - including visiting Belfast's Titanic Quarter while wearing a life jacket - also had the effect of projecting the image that the Conservatives were fighting a losing campaign.

The biggest unenforced error came when Mr Sunak left D-Day commemorations in France early to attend a broadcast interview - something he apologised for but was asked about repeatedly in subsequent weeks.

Towards the latter half of the campaign, it was the revelation that one of Mr Sunak's closest aides, along with a number of Conservatives, had placed bets on the timing of the election that put even more pressure his operation.

He was forced to abandon support for those caught up in the scandal who are being investigated by the Gambling Commission.

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