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HomeWorld NewsLive Updates: Labour Party Wins U.K. Election, With Landslide Projected

Live Updates: Labour Party Wins U.K. Election, With Landslide Projected

Rishi Sunak, the outgoing British prime minister, conceded his Conservatives party’s defeat early Friday, while holding onto his seat in Parliament.

Mr. Sunak took 47.5 percent of the vote in his constituency of Richmond and Northallerton in northern England. Although he won by a slimmer margin, it was likely a relief for Mr. Sunak, who was reportedly worried about maintaining his once-safe seat in the days leading up to the vote.

But it was also a somber moment, as Mr. Sunak acknowledged in his acceptance speech for his seat that his party had lost. “The Labour Party 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 his ouster from Parliament. Mr. Sunak’s Conservative Party has long held sway in the rural Yorkshire area. If he had lost the race, he would have been the first sitting prime minister to lose his seat in Parliament.

“If they put a billy goat in for Richmond, Conservative, it would get in,” said Lawrence Hathaway, 94. “It’s always been Conservative.”

But this year Mr. Sunak — a multimillionaire whom opponents have painted as failing to understand the needs of ordinary people — was facing historic headwinds after 14 years of Conservative leadership. The party presided over a tumultuous exit from the European Union and Britain has wrestled with a cost of living crisis for years, with inflation reaching 11.1 percent in 2022 and only recently returning to target levels.

Opinion polls indicated that voters were also frustrated by the government’s mismanagement of the coronavirus pandemic, worried about their health-care system and exasperated by the leadership of Mr. Sunak’s predecessor, Liz Truss, who lasted only 45 days in office.

In Richmond, some felt that Mr. Sunak was being blamed for problems that started before his tenure and go much deeper than any one prime minister could handle.

“Most people here like Rishi Sunak,” said Barbara Richmond, 70, who has a holiday home nearby, though she does not vote in Richmond.

“For most Yorkshire people, it’s family first,” she said. “And he’s a family man.”

But many were fed up with scandals that have plagued the Conservative Party. There was “Partygate,” in which Boris Johnson and his staff at Downing Street broke the government’s own lockdown rules during the pandemic, helping trigger Mr. Johnson’s downfall. There was the economic chaos unleashed by Ms. Truss’s ill-advised tax cut plan. And in recent weeks, Conservative staff members were alleged to have made bets about the timing of the snap election.

“I’m very exasperated,” said Carol Sheard, a retired woman in her 70s, who votes in Mr. Sunak’s constituency. “It’s like a circus.”

Even some of Mr. Sunak’s supporters were lukewarm on him. On the campaign trail, the prime minister made a number of missteps, including leaving the D-Day commemorations early. Immensely wealthy, he often seemed unable to connect with ordinary voters.

“He’s so out of touch,” said John Morrison, 86. But he said he had still voted Conservative.

“Like a lot of people, I held my nose and voted for Rishi,” he said. “He’s the best of a bad lot.”

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