Britain’s Conservative Party Was Routed

Prime Minister Keir Starmer took office after his center-left Labour Party won a landslide election victory that decisively swept the Conservatives out of power. It was the worst defeat for the party in its nearly 200-year history.

Labour’s more than 410 seats in Parliament ensured the party a robust majority. But a glance past the win reveals signs that point to a dissatisfied and fragmented nation.

The voter turnout was close to a record low, hinting that some voters had checked out after years of political dysfunction. Despite Labour’s gains in Parliament, the BBC estimated that the party had garnered only 35 percent of the votes nationwide, while smaller parties and independent candidates saw their support surge.

Reform U.K., the new anti-immigration party led by Nigel Farage, who is a Trump ally and Brexit champion, won just five Parliament seats but became the third-biggest party by vote share, with about 14 percent. A veteran political disrupter, Farage could try to poach the remnants of the debilitated Conservatives.

Starmer and Labour will have to act fast, which Starmer seemed to acknowledge in a speech outside No. 10 Downing Street: “Our work is urgent, and we begin it today.”

For more: These maps show how the vote changed, and in this video, Mark Landler explains what the results mean.

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