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In the United Kingdom, Labour Party returns to power in triumph

British Labour leader Keir Starmer is set to enter Downing Street on Friday, ending 14 years in opposition for Labour, after their resounding victory over the Conservatives in legislative elections also marked by the unexpected breakthrough of the hard right.

“Tidal wave”: the verdict is displayed on the front pages of British dailies on Friday, unanimous in describing the political turning point in the United Kingdom, after 14 years of Conservative power.

If the defeat of the Conservatives had been announced for months by the polls, their rout turns out to be historic, confirming the desire for change of the British, exasperated by the succession of crises, from Brexit to the surge in prices through the waltz of Prime ministers in recent years.

According to British television projections, Labor would win 410 seats out of the 650 in the House of Commons, just a little less than the historic score by Tony Blair in 1997 (418).

“The United Kingdom in red”, the color of Labour, headlines the influential tabloid The Sun which called for Labor votes.

The conservative party of outgoing Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is disowned with its worst result since the beginning of the 20th century: 131 elected deputies, compared to 365 five years ago under Boris Johnson.

With the far right likely to rise to power in France and Donald Trump looking well placed to return to the White House, the British have overwhelmingly chosen a moderate center-left leader.

Keir Starmer, a 61-year-old former human rights lawyer, will be tasked by King Charles III on Friday with forming a new government. He has not yet spoken out, notably awaiting his own result in a constituency in north London.

Voters are “demanding change” and “it's up to us to respond to this trust”, rejoiced Rachel Reeves, who is expected to become the next Minister of Finance in the Labor government and was re-elected in her constituency.

But she warned that the future government will have to expect “difficult choices” given “the scale of the challenge”.

In the United Kingdom, Labour Party returns to power in triumph

British Labor Party leader Keir Starmer and his wife Victoria arrive to vote at a polling station in London, July 4, 2024 © AFP – Paul ELLIS

The Liberal Democrats (centrists) would strengthen with 61 deputies, once again becoming the third force in Parliament. But the surprise of the election comes above all from the anti-immigration and anti-system Reform UK party: it would win 13 seats, a much more resounding entry than expected for the formation of the hard right figure Nigel Farage.

The former Brexit herald hailed the start of a “revolt against the establishment”, while he himself is expected to be elected to Parliament for the first time.

In Scotland, the independentists of the Scottish National party suffered a serious setback, expected to win only 10 of the 57 constituencies.

Early results confirmed predictions, with Labor winning 12, with Reform UK second in many cases.

– Thirst for change –

Just nine years after entering politics and four years after taking over as Labor leader, the new Prime Minister will face considerable yearning for change.

Brexit has tore the country apart and failed to fulfill the promises of his supporters. The surge in prices over the past two years has impoverished families, with more families than ever relying on food banks.

We sometimes have to wait months for appointments medical services in the public NHS service. The prisons risk running out of places in the coming days.

– Disastrous campaign –

In an atmosphere permanent fratricidal struggles among the Conservatives, the political scandals under Boris Johnson and the budgetary errors of Liz Truss, who only lasted 49 days in power, have finished exasperating voters.

In 20 months in Downing Street, their successor Rishi Sunak, fifth Conservative Prime Minister since 2010, has never managed to raise the bar in public opinion.

In the United Kingdom, Labour Party returns to power in triumph

British Prime Minister and Conservative Party leader Rishi Sunak delivers a speech during his final campaign rally at Romsey Rugby Football Club in Hampshire on July 3, 2024 © POOL – Claudia Greco

The 44-year-old former investment banker and Minister of Finance had tried a gamble by calling these elections in July without waiting for the fall as many thought, but his campaign was disastrous.

Faced with inevitable defeat, his camp was reduced in recent days to warning of the risk of a “super majority” leaving Labor without counter-powers .

Opposite, Keir Starmer highlighted his modest origins – mother nurse and father toolmaker – contrasting with his multimillionaire opponent, and promised the return of “stability” and “seriousness”, with very rigorous public expenditure management.

– NATO Summit –

Not very charismatic but determined, he promises to transform the country as he straightened out Labor after succeeding the very left-wing Jeremy Corbyn, refocusing it without qualms on the economic level and fighting against anti-Semitism.< /p>

He says he wants to revive growth, restore public services, strengthen workers' rights, reduce immigration and bring the United Kingdom closer to the European Union — without going back on Brexit, a taboo subject of the campaign.

Starting next week, the new Prime Minister, who is generally expected to continue the current British foreign policy, will make his first not on the international scene on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of NATO summit in Washington.

All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116