July 16, 2024

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Labour wins UK election: Latest news, results and live updates

Labour wins UK election: Latest news, results and live updates

Outgoing British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak conceded defeat for the Conservative Party early Friday morning, while retaining his seat in Parliament.

Mr Sunak won 47.5% of the vote in his constituency of Richmond and Northallerton in northern England. Although he won by a smaller margin, it is likely to come as a relief to Mr Sunak, who was reportedly worried about keeping his job. Safe seat once In the days leading up to the vote.

But it was also a sombre moment, as Mr Sunak admitted in his acceptance speech that his party had lost. “Labour has won this general election,” Mr Sunak declared, adding that he had called Keir Starmer, the Labour leader and incoming prime minister, to congratulate him.

Few in Richmond expected him to be ousted from parliament. Sunak’s Conservative Party has long dominated rural Yorkshire. Had he lost the race, he would have become the first sitting prime minister to lose his seat in parliament.

“If they put a goat on Richmond, the Tories, they’ll get it. It’s always been the Tories,” said 94-year-old Lawrence Hathaway.

But this year, Mr Sunak, a billionaire described by critics as failing to understand the needs of ordinary people, has faced historic headwinds after 14 years as Conservative leader. The party has presided over a turbulent exit from the European Union, and Britain has been grappling with a cost-of-living crisis for years, with inflation hitting 11.1% in 2022 and only recently returning to target levels.

Polls suggested voters were also frustrated by the government’s mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic, concerned about their healthcare system and dissatisfied with the leadership of Mr Sunak’s predecessor, Liz Truss, who lasted just 45 days in office.

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In Richmond, some felt Mr Sunak was being blamed for problems that began before he took office and go far deeper than any prime minister could deal with.

“Most people here love Rishi Sunak,” said Barbara Richmond, 70, who owns a holiday home nearby, although she does not vote in Richmond.

“For most Yorkshire people, family comes first, and he is a family man,” she said.

But many have had enough of the scandals plaguing the Conservative Party. There was the “partygate” scandal, in which Boris Johnson and his Downing Street staff broke the government’s lockdown rules during the pandemic, helping to bring about Mr Johnson’s downfall. There was the economic chaos unleashed by Ms Truss’s ill-conceived tax-cut plan. And in recent weeks, members of the Tory staff were alleged to have bet on the timing of an early election.

“I’m so upset,” said Carol Sheard, a pensioner in her 70s who votes in Mr Sunak’s constituency. “It’s like a circus.”

Even some of Mr Sunak’s supporters have been lukewarm towards him. During the election campaign, the prime minister made a number of gaffes, including leaving VE Day celebrations early. And because of his vast wealth, he often seemed unable to connect with ordinary voters.

“It’s completely out of touch with reality,” said John Morrison, 86, but added that he had voted Conservative nonetheless.

“Like many others, I decided to vote for Rishi. He is the best of a bad bunch,” he said.