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Starmer’s Labour romp home in the General Election of 2024.


For millions across the UK, this will truly feel like finally waking up from a nightmare.


A nightmare centred around an economically illiterate, morally corrupt Government leaving the country in a state.


Fresh in the mind is the (then Conservative) Lee Anderson telling poor people to stop moaning about Brexit and the use of food banks… ‘meals can be made for as little as 30p,’ he said.


The hundreds of thousands of lives taken from the impoverished class of 21st century Brits through austerity. Not to mention our sewage-filled water or crumbling public services.


The bus that told us an extra £350m would be going back into our NHS. The so-called ‘control’ over our borders has seeing our highest-ever levels of net migration. The empty shelves in supermarkets. The airport queues. The infamous speech made by Sunak in Northern Ireland boasting the restoration of EU single market access as some sort of Brexit win.


The Covid parties. The tax experiment seeing mortgages triple. Dodgy PPE contracts. The jokes made about trans people as Brianna Ghey’s grieving mother sought closure at Prime Minister’s Questions.


Corruption and lies may have divided a nation, but it did not conquer in the end. A whole new generation of youngsters in the UK can hope again for a brighter future.


The healing, if Starmer is to be believed, begins now.


Months of excessive polling has meant a Labour government felt inevitable this morning… so what were the talking points?


Disciplined performance


Clear Keir drove home a simple message: stop the chaos.


Members of the public are fed up with politicians. Starmer recognised this early on in his premiership. People are sick and tired of the total disregard for the idea of respect, decency and decorum that should come with the job.


Whilst there has always been an air of entitlement and pompousness amongst a certain class of politician, it’s like they’re not even hiding it anymore. No shame or humility. Downright deceit and a swagger behind it. The public has had enough.


Our rule-makers might’ve gotten away with it when most of us weren’t constantly skint but careless decisions, nasty politics and inept conversation have been there for everyone to see. It’s just not been good enough.


Keir’s message was then made easy: if Labour are voted in, we will serve the public. Not the other way around.


Sick of the theatrics? We’ll put an end to that. We’ll be a serious government. We’ll listen to people. We’ll restore pride in how we conduct ourselves on the international stage. We won’t let bitter Brexit identities dictate us.


Worried about your bills? Understandable. We’re in tough times but Labour won’t knee-jerk or make rash decisions. We won’t spend money we don’t have. We won’t go against advice from financial experts. We won’t deceive the public for ideological ends. We’ll be upfront.


This was well-received. Nobody’s under any illusion that the UK can click its fingers and magic an easier life or a better economy. The wounds are deep and the ship is in desperate need of steadying. Long-term vision is required and that begins with solid foundations.


Starmer’s no-nonsense, principled campaign that will go down in history.



Change and reform.


You’d think Nigel Farage was the Prime Minister in waiting if you watched the Exit Poll news coverage. The story that sent shockwaves through media outlets into the wee hours of last night was the momentum of Reform UK threatening a 2nd place finish.


They fell short in the end with only 14% of the vote, but it still feels like a big result. Reform UK is more popular than the Liberal Democrats and the Greens.


In other words, people are not happy with the status quo.


The easy thing to do for these voters would’ve been to play the system and vote Conservative. They share a lot of the same values. Most of the campaign agenda was catered specifically to try and keep them on the side.


And yet they didn’t do that. Their voice wouldn’t be heard with a Conservative vote. It would get lost in a political system that caters for the few.


Whilst many believe the Reform vote is a despicable, racist corner of our country that needs to be shunned at every opportunity, it was about a lot more than that. I spoke to a lot of them in the lead-up to this election through my work at Ipsos and almost all stressed emphatically how much they hate racism and cannot stand people typically associated with Farage’s party. They just felt they had no option.


They were concerned about the effect of an increasing population in concentrated areas. They sincerely believe the tax burden is as high as it is because of it. They don’t see any competent solutions on offer from ‘establishment’ parties. This is a huge statement vote.


Less sympathetic understandings of Reform will point to similar characteristics of Eurosceptic parties on the rise across the continent and sense danger. Europe is moving right and that’s bad news for asylum seekers fleeing dangerous conflict, climate action and those suffering PTSD from fascistic political movements in the 20th century.


We’re truly seeing the symptoms of polarised debate on digital platforms like Twitter.



What lessons will the Conservatives learn?


Conservatives will be tortured by the hypothetical of what Reform’s 14% of votes would’ve done for their prospects. They might well still be in Government.


This presents two distinct, very different paths for the future of the party… do they stick with a less extreme form of conservativism and wait to capitalise on Labour’s marginal shortfalls, or twist on the kind of rebrand required to attract Reform voters back?


A sensible head, in my opinion, would opt for the former. This might seem like a wild shout looking at the result last night, but the vote share between them and Labour isn’t a million miles apart. If they were able to eat into a few percentage points of their vote, it would’ve been pretty tight.


Labour’s victory was not as resounding as it was because of people’s enthusiasm for their manifesto. Polling shows us this. The campaign messaging shows us this. It’s obvious… I think the Conservatives may well need to swallow their pride, take the L, and start conducting themselves with a bit of care and decency. They’ll have to bide their time but it’ll come back round eventually.


That’s not how politics works in the modern age mind. The power of social media has not only obliterated the electorate’s attention span and patience but it’s also allowed controversial characters to rise into power in unbelievably short spaces of time. Strong characters and clever digital campaign messaging could be the difference in the party’s fate.



Burst Past the Post.


The downfalls of our voting system were there for all to see in this election:


Labour received 34% of people’s votes and yet their representatives will be sitting on over 60% of the seats in the Parliament’s chamber.


In other words, 66% of us were not prepared to elect Labour candidates, and yet it will be Labour candidates making decisions for the country without any real threat of revolt.


You might’ve heard the name Jeremy Corbyn a lot during this campaign, about his poor leadership and lack of success in the last election… well, despite a stark difference in electoral success, way more folk voted Corbyn in 2019 compared to Starmer this year.


Reform UK boasts 3rd place in the vote share rankings. They received 14% of votes compared to 4th place (in vote share) Liberal Democrats with 11%... yet Reform ended up with 4 seats and the Liberals got 71.


In Scotland, SNP received 30% of the votes, 2nd place to competitors Labour. This wouldn’t have looked as bad if it translated to more than only 9/57 seats.


I could go on… but the statistics speak for themselves. A lot of questions will be asked in the coming weeks about the fairness of our electoral system.


However, nothing will get done about that so long as Labour and Conservatives are the biggest party after each election.





Blinkered supporters of the SNP may hang on to the result of almost 1 in 3 still supporting the party, despite everything that has gone on in the past few years. From leadership turnover to police investigations into finances… but a rational head will see this as an opportunity to give the party another shake-up.


A lot of people are sick of the SNP’s handling of politics. A huge chunk of the independence support is even fed up. Anything other than self-reflection would be mindless.


My take? I think the big mistake was a failure to foresee the wider direction of travel in public opinion. It was too little too late for Swinney in his bid to unite the country with more collaborative politics. The damage was already done by his predecessor, Humza Yousaf, who criticised the Tories for divisive language and culture wars whilst also saying things like ‘make Scotland tory-free.’ People see right through the hypocrisy.


They also failed to read the room on independence. They should’ve recognised that, even for supporters, it was way down the pecking order of priorities coming into this election. Whilst it is the ultimate ambition for supporters, leadership should’ve been straight with the public that it is an unrealistic target for this election. Instead, they sought to shore up their own core support in crucial moments.


That miscalculation failed in its understanding of the electorate. Not everyone sympathetic to independence is an SNP supporter. Just because a polling organisation asks someone ‘if there was a referendum tomorrow on Scotland’s constitutional future, how would you vote?’ and they reply, sometimes hesitantly, with a ‘Yes’… that doesn’t mean they’re a banker for SNP support. Nor does it mean they want a referendum any time soon.


The SNP need to stop obsessing about political mechanisms that might achieve their dream of independence and do the hard work first. There isn’t enough appetite, at least at the moment, for such drastic change.


Low turnout


A sad undertone to this election. Less than 60% of us turned up to vote. That tells us people are fed up with politics.


People are tired of repetitive arguments. Disheartened by a lot of the rhetoric used by politicians. Ashamed of our foreign policy agenda as tens of thousands of Palestinians are lost to a brutal conflict in the Middle East.


We live in hope that a change in Government can reignite enthusiasm for politics. A start would be to listen to younger generations and act accordingly.

1 Comment

Enjoyed reading this summary - however using the word summary may be wrong choice of word as I believe you have covered all the main points in your overview - well done Innes

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