General Election reaction after Labour forecast to win landslide victory

Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer
-Credit: (Image: PA)

The General Election exit polls have predicted a landslide victory for Labour tonight (Thursday). Labour is on course for a landslide, according to the exit poll projection, with 410 seats.

The Conservatives are set for 131 seats. It would be the lowest number Tory MPs on record.

The exit poll also forecasts the Liberal Democrats on 61 seats, Reform UK on 13 and The Green Party on two. In Scotland, the SNP are expected to secure 10 seats with Plaid Cymru in Wales on four.

Sir Keir Starmer has thanked those who voted for him and “put their trust in a changed Labour Party” after the exit poll revealed he is on course for a landslide.

“To everyone who has campaigned for Labour in this election, to everyone who voted for us and put their trust in our changed Labour Party – thank you,” he posted to X, formerly Twitter.

As polls closed, Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey said: “The Liberal Democrats are on course for our best results in a century, thanks to our positive campaign with health and care at its heart. I am humbled by the millions of people who backed the Liberal Democrats to both kick the Conservatives out of power and deliver the change our country needs.

“Every Liberal Democrat MP will be a strong local champion for their community standing up for the NHS and care. Whether you voted for us or not, we will work day in and day out and we will not let you down.”

Reacting to the exit poll, Scotland’s former first minister Nicola Sturgeon told ITV: “This is not a good night for the SNP on those numbers.”

She added: “This is at the grimmer end of the expectations for the SNP if the exit poll is right.”

Former Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson called the projected election result a “massacre” for the Conservative Party after exit polls were released. But she said the word coming out of Conservative central office earlier was that the Tories could be below three figures in terms of seats.

She told on Sky News: “So actually 131 – while, there is no dressing it up, this is a massacre – they’ve actually, if this is right, pulled a few back from where they thought they were.”

Labour’s national campaign chief Pat McFadden said: “Keir Starmer’s transformation of the Labour Party has been remarkable. He has put country before party and has transformed Labour from a party focused on itself to one back in the service of the British public.

"We have campaigned as a changed Labour Party, ready to change Britain.”

But despite the exit poll indicating a landslide win, he added: “It’s going to be a long night, and it will be several hours until we know the full picture of results. Labour will need a swing bigger than Tony Blair achieved in 1997 to achieve a majority of just one seat.”

Angela Rayner said the results were “encouraging” but a number of seats were on a “knife edge.”

It was put to her that the results were “a bit more than encouraging,” to which the Labour deputy leader replied: “If you look at where we were in 2019, just to get a majority of one we’d have had to have a swing greater than Tony Blair in 1997.

“So we know a number of seats were on a knife edge from our own data, but I also know that all of our activists and our candidates have been going out there not taking anything for granted and speaking to the electorate about what matters to them.”

She told BBC News it would be “an absolute honour and a privilege to be re-elected”, first as the MP for Ashton-under-Lyne and to be able to serve as deputy prime minister.

Former justice secretary Sir Robert Buckland, who exit polls show is expected to lose Swindon South to Labour candidate Heidi Alexander, said he was prepared for “whatever the electorate throw at me”.

“That’s politics, Kay,” he told Sky News.

“I’ve lost before, I’ve won four elections on the trot, I’m used to what defeat looks like and I’m prepared for it, but my political life is not over.

“I feel a bit like Tony Benn tonight. I’ll be leaving Parliament to spend more time on politics.

“I’ve got causes dear to my heart such as autism, disability justice, that I will be fighting for just as hard outside parliament as i used to in parliament.

“So I’m ready for whatever the electorate throw at me and I treat victory and defeat like those two imposters, just the same,” he said, quoting Rudyard Kipling.