Labour storming to historic victory with 170-seat majority, General Election exit poll predicts

Labour is set to win a huge majority with the Tories suffering a disastrous defeat, according to the exit poll.

It showed Labour getting 410 seats, the Tories 131 , the Liberal Democrats 61, the Scottish National Party 10, Reform UK 13 and the Greens 2.

If correct, it would mean Sir Keir’s party having a majority of 170, slightly less than the 179 in the first Blair landslide in 1997, and that he would go to see King Charles at Buckingham Palace on Friday to be asked to form a government.

The result would be a disaster for Rishi Sunak’s Conservatives and almost certainly spark infighting over the future direction of the party.

Sir Keir would be expected to return to Downing Street to deliver a speech laying out the core beliefs on how Labour will govern.

For all the results and updates through the night, visit our dedicated General Election live blog.

The election result prediction came after the polls had closed at 10pm following a six-week campaign.

Mr Sunak kicked it off in the rain outside Downing Street in an announcement which both stunned and angered many Tory MPs.

It is six weeks since Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called a General Election for July 4 (PA Wire)
It is six weeks since Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called a General Election for July 4 (PA Wire)

It swiftly turned out to be a disastrous decision for the Tories, as Nigel Farage, who was planning to head to America for the Donald Trump campaign, did a U-turn and took over as Reform UK leader.

Reform jumped in the polls and its rise is believed to have contributed to defeat for a number of Tories.

Mr Sunak then blundered by returning early from 80th anniversary of D-Day ceremonies in France.

Sir Keir was seen to have adopted a “ming vase” strategy, of taking few risks with limited pledges in Labour’s manifesto, and the polls hardly changed with many of them showing a lead for his party of around 20 points.

Sir Ed Davey grabbed the election limelight with a series of stunts, many of them water-based, to highlight Liberal Democrat policies including on mental health, social care and the NHS.

The hammering for the Conservatives comes less than five years after Boris Johnson gained a Commons majority of 80 in the December 2019 Brexit election, the party’s largest since 1987, as Labour suffered a historic defeat under Jeremy Corbyn.

Sir Keir has ruthlessly changed Labour since the Corbyn era and the antisemitism storm which engufled it at the time.

Labour chiefs barred Mr Corbyn from standing again for the party, and he instead stood as an independent in Islington North.

Exit polls take place at about 144 polling stations across the country, with tens of thousands of people asked to privately fill in a replica ballot as they leave, to get an indication of how they voted.

The fieldwork is done by polling firm Ipsos with the modelling, analysis and final projections done by the team led by Sir John Curtice, Professor of Politics at Strathclyde University.

Sir John said: “Wherever possible we go back to the same places as last time. The method of the exit poll is that you compare the results in the selected polling stations this time, with the results of the exit poll last time.

It’s tended to be relatively accurate, it’s not perfectly accurate, but there’s been a number of occasions in which it has ended up proving rather more accurate than what the opinion polls have been.

“Not that I’m suggesting that’s necessarily going to be the case this time but, on occasions like 2015 and 2017, the exit polls proved to give a better guide.”

Exit polls appear to have become more accurate over time.

In 1974, the first British exit poll predicted a Labour majority of 132, but the actual majority was three.

One of the new Prime Minister’s first decision will be appointing his Cabinet.

He will write letters to the commanders of Britain’s four nuclear submarines, as to what they should do if a nuclear strike cuts them off from contact with the UK, and take calls from world leaders.

He will also have to work out with his family the living arrangements in Downing Street, with two flats available, one above No10 and the other No11.

Then he will face the challenges of government, with Britain’s public finances in a dire situation, an ailing NHS, a cost-of-living crisis continuing for many households, and threats from abroad including Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine.