Labour landslide predicted in exit poll as Tories face worst result in their history

Keir Starmer set for Number 10 as party predicted to win 410 seats

Ballot boxes are emptied at Emirates Arena in Glasgow
Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer, who is now on course to be UK Prime Minister. PICTURE: PA (Jacob King/PA)

Sir Keir Starmer is preparing for power as the General Election exit poll predicted a Labour landslide and a historic collapse of the Conservatives

The exit poll announced by broadcasters after 10pm predicted 410 seats for Labour, and despite speculation of electoral history being made for the party in the final days of the election campaign, the predictions show Labour missing out on a landslide bigger than that won by Tony Blair in 1997, when they won 419 seats.

The suggested 410 seats is still a monumental increase for Labour compared to their performance during the last General Election in 2019, when they won 203 seats under Jeremy Corbyn.

Follow live General Election updates from the Irish News team on our blog here.

Meanwhile, the Conservatives were predicted by the exit poll to finish with just 131 seats, a huge drop from their 2019 result when Boris Johnson won a majority with 365 seats.

If proved accurate on Friday, the result would be the lowest number of seats for the Tories in the party’s history - worse than in 1906 when their previous low was 156 seats.

Pollsters had predicted a dire night for Rishi Sunak, and the exit poll suggested one of the most significant collapses in UK political history for his party.

Ed Davey was last night celebrating after the Liberal Democrats were predicted to win 61 seats - a triumphant return to relevance at Westminster after winning just 11 seats in 2019 under former leader Jo Swinson.

Another leader raising a glass following the exit poll was Reform’s Nigel Farage, after his party was predicted to win 13 seats - more than the Scottish National Party which was looking at a disastrous result of just 10 seats.

The SNP’s predicted drop from its 2019 high of 48 seats would be the result of a Labour sweep in Scotland, and will see SNP leader John Swinney facing a tough period ahead after what had already been a bruising year for the party.

Plaid Cymru were predicted to hold their four seats in Wales, while the Green Party were predicted to win two seats, up from the one they held before parliament was dissolved.

The exit poll does not take into account the predicted results for parties in Northern Ireland.

The incoming results spell the end for Rishi Sunak’s 20 months as both Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party.

The Tories will now face a leadership contest as they attempt to regroup and chart a course for the future, but potential candidates in a contest including Penny Mordaunt and Grant Shapps were last night facing an uphill battle to return to Westminster.

However, former home secretaries Suella Braverman and Dame Priti Patel, security minister Tom Tugendhat and health secretary Victoria Atkins were feeling more positive about holding their seats.

Northern Ireland minister Steve Baker said of Rishi Sunak’s position following the exit poll: “There will be undoubtedly recrimination, there will be shock, there will be anger, denial.”

Mr Baker had earlier in the week hinted he may put himself forward in a Conservative leadership contest, however on Thursday night he was told live on the BBC that he had a less than 1% chance of winning in his constituency of Wycombe.