The following article is a short summary of the General Election of the 4th of July 2024 and its results. The overall results of the election can be found at the bottom of this article.

On the 22nd of May 2024, standing outside 10 Downing Street, drenched by rain, and to the backdrop of D:ream’s ‘Things can only get better’ (the song used by New Labour in their 1997 Election campaign) played by nearby protestors, the then Prime Minister Rishi Sunak delivered an address to the nation, stating that he had decided to go early and call a general election for the 4th of July.

His announcement was a fitting start to what followed, as the Conservatives chaired a six week long campaign mired in blunders, mixed messaging, and which reached its crescendo with a betting scandal, when Sunak’s political aide was found to have placed a bet on the election date.

At 10pm on the 4th of July with the polls officially closed, the exit poll was announced. It predicted a Labour landslide, with an enormous 410 seats for Labour (just 8 short of Tony Blair’s win in 1997) and a devastatingly low 131 seats for the Conservatives, a result that would be their worst ever if proved correct. The exit poll predicted a Labour majority of 160, a majority of historic proportions, and double the majority achieved under Boris Johnson in 2019. The exit poll also predicted an impressive 61 seats for the Liberal Democrats, 13 for Reform UK, 10 for the SNP, 4 for Plaid Cymru, 2 for the Greens and 19 listed under ‘others’.

The exit poll predictions were relatively accurate, and within a margin of error of a handful of seats to the final result. Labour finished the election on 412 seats, the Liberal Democrats on 72, SNP on 9, Reform UK on 5, Greens on 4 and the Conservatives on 121, the worst ever performance in their parliamentary history.

Sunak’s gamble had not paid off.

The first call of the night was from the constituency of Houghton and Sunderland South which announced its result at around 11:15pm, proclaiming that the first seat of the election had been won by Labour candidate Bridget Phillipson MP. Hundreds more calls followed throughout the night and included some shocking results and a swathe of ‘Portillo moments’ that included senior Tory figures such as Penny Mordaunt, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Grant Shapps, Johnny Mercer, Jonathon Gullis, Alex Chalk and Michelle Donelan, to name just a few, all losing their seats.

Even former Prime Ministers were not safe from the rout, as Liz Truss came to learn when she lost her seat to the Labour candidate. Truss chose not to give a speech.

In a speech given after his loss, former Defence Secretary Grant Shapps stated that “It is clear to me that it’s not so much that Labour have won this election, but rather that the Conservatives have lost it.”.

Although a largely positive result for Labour, with Starmer becoming only the seventh Labour PM, the night also held some shocks, as members of the then shadow cabinet (Debbonaire and Ashworth) suffered defeats to the Greens and an independent candidate respectively. Several other Labour candidates such as Jess Phillips and Wes Streeting, then shadow cabinet ministers, won their contests, but in circumstances that where much closer than anticipated. Even Keir Starmer himself suffered a drop in his majority, from 22,766 in 2019 to 11,572 in this election.

Other high profile political figures such as former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, George Galloway and Nigel Farage were contesting seats in the election. Whilst Galloway lost in Rochdale to the Labour candidate, Jeremy Corbyn campaigned as an independent following his expulsion from the Labour Party, and won his Islington North seat that he has held continuously for four decades, beating the Labour candidate Praful Nargund by a margin of 15%. Nigel Farage was also successful in Clacton and has now earned himself a seat in The Commons, on his eighth attempt.

Turnout for the election has been recorded as 60%, the second lowest in a UK election since 1885.

Critics of the British electoral system have been vocal in their frustration, as this election has provided a Parliament in which a 34% vote share for Labour, has resulted in them obtaining 63% of the seats in the Commons. For reference, the number of votes for Labour at this election is lower than votes received by Labour in both the 2017 and 2019 General Elections, both of which Labour lost. Reform suffered greatly from this electoral system, receiving just 5 seats, equal to 1% of the seats in the Commons, whilst receiving 14% of the vote nationally.

This election witnessed a record number of women elected to Parliament and also a record high number of MP’s elected, that attended comprehensive schools.

Although a decisive result for Labour, this election has opened the door to many questions around British politics, questions such as: Where do the Conservatives go from here? Is our electoral system truly democratic? Is the two party system crumbling?

For our thoughts on these and other questions, and for a more detailed analysis of the parties performances in the election, please keep up to date with the blog.

The final results of the election are as follows:

Labour – 412

Conservatives – 121

Liberal Democrats – 72

SNP – 9

Sinn Fein – 7

Independent – 6

Reform UK – 5

DUP – 5

Green – 4

Plaid Cymru – 4

Social Democratic & Labour Party – 2

Alliance Party – 1

Ulster Unionist Party – 1

Traditional Unionist Voice – 1

Workers Party of Britain – 0

SDP – 0

Alba – 0