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UK election brings catastrophic defeat for Conservative PM Rishi Sunak

Keir Starmer, leader of Britain's Labour party, reacts as he speaks at a reception to celebrate his win in the election, at Tate Modern, in London. - REUTERS PIC

Rishi Sunak, Conservative UK Prime Minister since October 2022, has suffered a catastrophic defeat, handing a landslide victory to Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer as Election Day in Britain ushers in a new era in British politics.

There has been a lot of turmoil; I don't know how many prime ministers we've had throughout that period.

But we're here now and I think people are looking for a change but what that change is going to look like, I'm unsure.

British Voter

After 14 years in power, Judgment Day has arrived for the conservative party.

The Tory Party has capitulated on its promises. Its original manifesto said that it would reduce, for instance, immigration, and said that it would solve the energy crisis and food crisis.

It made a lot of promises, particularly its 2019 manifesto, it promised to capitalize on Brexit.

The country has felt betrayed by all of those manifesto promises.

Joseph Robertson, Independent Political Strategist

Rishi Sunak, UK Prime Minister since October 2022 has suffered a catastrophic defeat.

The keys to number 10 Downing Street will go to Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer who has presented himself as a centrist human rights lawyer with working-class roots, someone you can trust.

His critics, however, think otherwise.

Starmer is trying to appeal to too many different platforms at once. So he's lost the narrative over the Muslim vote and over the Gaza issue.

He's lost his own voter base over workers rights and workers issues. He's lost his own voter base over Brexit.

He is very, very bad at keeping promises, he flip flops all the time. He tries to appeal to a working class background but people see through that very quickly.

He's privately educated, and he's in the big boys club.

Joseph Robertson, Independent Political Strategist

Nigel Farage, leader of the right wing Reform UK party, outspoken on immigration and the man who championed Brexit; was expected to sway many disaffected conservative voters.

Former Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, ran and won as an independent.

Many voters, disappointed at the major party's stance on Gaza, took part in tactical voting against the two major political parties.

Women and children and everyone, people are being burned alive; they're being massacred in their homes.

I mean, imagine you're just sitting at home watching TV on a Sunday night with your family, and a missile just comes through your roof and completely demolishes everything you know.

How can you sit by and let that happen?

Member of Public

In the United Kingdom, voters do not elect the Prime Minister directly, they choose a Member of Parliament to represent their area or a constituency, the leader of the party that wins the majority of the 650 constituencies in the UK gets to form a government and become the Prime Minister.

For an overall majority, 326 constituencies are needed.

As predicted, power is about to change hands in a big way in the UK and the winners will have their work cut out for them in regaining public trust in government and those who are supposed to govern.

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