With a shocking exit poll coming through on Thursday night (4 July) predicting a Labour landslide victory, significant Conservative and SNP losses and the Liberal Democrats making gains, how did the parties actually perform?

The exit poll predicted Labour taking a landslide victory, with 410 seats and Conservatives winning 131. The Lib Dems were predicted to take 61 seats, and the SNP 10 seats.

Labour Party

With a huge landslide victory, the Labour Party won the election with the largest majority since 1997. Gaining 211 seats and taking 33.7% of the vote, the party has a majority of 174 with 412 seats overall. 

The party made some significant gains across England, as well as in Scotland and Wales. Scotland saw an extra 36 seats with 9 extra in Wales. Labour gained multiple seats within North Wales, winning Bangor Aberconwy seat, Clwyd North seat, Clwyd East seat and Wrexham seat, winning with a share of votes ranging between 33% to 39%.

In North West England, Labour’s Patrick Hurley gained the Southport seat from the Conservatives, with Conservative Damien Moore losing 25% of the vote share he had in 2019. The party also gained multiple seats within the Greater Manchester and Lancashire areas, adding to the sea of red within the North of England.

Closer to the Scottish border, Labour won more seats from the Conservatives, with the party winning 40.6% of the vote in the Penrith and Solway seat and Conservative Mark Jenkinson losing 24.9% of the vote since 2019. In the Midlands, Labour made more gains, winning seats such as Loughborough, North West Leicestershire, South Derbyshire and Derby North from the Conservatives.

In the South – East of England, Labour was able to win multiple seats in Conservative stronghold areas, winning in North – East Hertfordshire, Hertford and Stortford and Harlow. Within the Suffolk Coastal and Norfolk area, Labour won more seats, turning seats such as Lowestoft, South Norfolk, Norwich North, and South – West Norfolk, a former Prime Ministers seat, into red seats.

This substantial victory evidences Labour’s rise in popularity and journey to power, with a new agenda and action plan to take to Parliament. The party’s success indicates the electorate is ready for a change and for a new direction in government.

Conservative Party

Beginning as the incumbent party, in power for 14 years, the Conservative Party took big losses and saw some seats become tight marginals. The results leave the Conservatives with 121 parliamentary seats, losing 251 seats and receiving 23.7% share of the national vote.

The Conservatives lost some significant figures within the party in this election, with so-called Conservative ‘safe seats’ no longer blue. Appearing confident on the BBC at the beginning of the night, Jacob Rees-Mogg lost his North – East Somerset and Hanham seat to Labour’s Dan Norris. Norris gained 40.6% of the vote, with Rees-Mogg losing 24.5% of the former vote share. Former Prime Minister Liz Truss lost her South – West Norfolk seat to Labour’s Terry Jermy by a tight margin of 630 votes. Cabinet Minister Penny Mordaunt lost her Portsmouth North seat to Labour’s Amanda Martin by 780 votes. Gillian Keegan lost her Chichester seat to Liberal Democrat Jess Brown-Fuller with 49.2% of the vote, losing 33.1% of the vote share.

In Wales, the Conservatives lost all of their seats, with Plaid Cymru gaining two more seats from Conservative losses. Plaid’s Ann Davies took Caerfyrddin seat and in Ynys Môn seat, Plaid’s Llinos Medi won with 637 more votes than Conservative Virginia Crosbie.

However, the Conservatives were able to hold onto some key figures seats, with former Prime Minister Rishi Sunak keeping his Richmond and Northallerton seat with 47.5% of the vote. Former cabinet minister Kemi Badenoch won her North – West Essex seat and James Cleverly won his Braintree seat, but lost 32.0% of the vote share from 2019. Former Home Secretaries Suella Braverman and Priti Patel both won their seats, with 35.0% vote and 37.2% of the vote, respectively.

Following these significant losses, the Conservatives take a step back and become the second largest party and the opposition, for the first time in 14 years.

Liberal Democrats

With party leader Ed Davey been seen celebrating the impressive gains the Liberal Democrats made on polling day, the Liberal Democrats become the third largest party in Parliament once again. Taking their seats from eleven in 2019 to 72 and receiving 12.2% of the national vote, the party moves from minor party to third largest party for the first time since 2015.

Leader Ed Davey held onto his Kingston and Surbiton seat, comfortably winning with a 51.1% share of votes. In addition to this, in the downfall of the SNP, the Liberal Democrats were able to gain six seats in Scotland from the SNP losses. Within the Sussex area, the Liberal Democrats were able to gain 4 seats in Eastbourne, Lewes, Mid Sussex and Horsham from the Conservatives.

In Cambridgeshire, the Liberal Democrats gained 3 seats from the Conservatives, with Pippa Heylings taking South Cambridgeshire, beating Conservative Chris Carter-Chapman by almost 10,000 votes and taking 46.8% of the vote. In St Neots and Mid Cambridgeshire, Ian Sollom won the seat and in Ely and East Cambridgeshire, Charlotte Cane beating Conservative Lucy Frazer by 495 votes.

The party also made significant gains in the Wells, Devon and Dorset area, defeating Conservatives, with Sarah Dyke winning the Glastonbury and Somerton seat with 6,611 more votes than Conservative Faye Purbrick. In North Cornwall seat, the Liberal Democrat Ben Maguire defeated Conservative Scott Mann by over 10,000 votes, with Mann losing 31.9% of the vote from the 2019 election. As well as this, in St Ives seat Liberal Democrat Andrew George won the seat with 52.0% of the vote, defeating Conservative Derek Thomas.

These bold gains the Liberal Democrats were able to make in the election restore the party back into its former place 14 years ago, with the upward spiral the party is making showing an optimistic future for the party.


Going from the third largest party in Parliament to a minor party, the Scottish National Party has suffered significantly in this election. Losing 39 seats, losing vote share and ending up with just nine representatives. The SNP has taken big hits in this election.

The SNP’s suffering comes from Labour and Lib Dem success. However, the SNP was able to gain one seat from the Conservatives, taking Aberdeenshire North and Moray East seat, with SNP’s Seamus Logan winning against Conservative Douglas Ross by 942 votes.

In the Edinburgh area, SNP lost multiple seats to Labour, with Edinburgh South – West seat being won by Labour’s Scott Arthur, with SNP losing 20.3% of  vote share. In Edinburgh North and Leith seat, Labour’s Tracy Gilbert defeated SNP’s Deidre Brock with 42.1% vote. In Edinburgh East and Musselburgh seat, Labour’s Chris Murray defeated SNP’s Tommy Sheppard, getting 41.2% of the vote.

Formerly a leading party in Westminster, SNP have become a minor party within the House of Commons. Labour’s landslide victory considerably damaged the nationalist party’s electoral performance. This poor showing may be an indicator of further problems for the party.

Going forward, what does this mean?

Labour’s massive victory within this election could lead to radical changes in government and law, likened to the 1997 government. With the Liberal Democrats having an increasing success in the election, this gains them more power and a louder voice in Parliament, giving them more of an opportunity to have an impact on Parliamentary agenda. The former governing party, now banished to the opposition, leaves the Conservatives taking the backseat for a while and recovering from the substantial losses taken in this election. Likewise, the Scottish National Party also losing significantly leaves them taking a step backwards, no longer as the third largest party in parliament.

To read more results details,  please see: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election/2024/uk/results

The picture of Keir Starmer is provided by the House of Commons under a Creative Commons license https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

By Ella Weatherburn.