The Labour Party has won the general election, winning a total of 412 seats (+211) with 33.7% of the vote – the smallest vote share of a winning party in decades. The Conservatives suffered their worst election performance in the party’s 200-year history, winning a total of 121 seats (-251) and 23.7% of the vote. The Liberal Democrats regained their position as the third largest party in Parliament, winning a total of 72 seats (+64) with 12.2% of the vote – the best performance of a third party since 1923. Reform UK experienced a significant upswing in support, winning a total of 5 seats with 14.3% of the vote, whilst the Green Party of England and Wales won 4 seats with 6.7% of the vote. 

Keir Starmer becomes the first Labour leader since Tony Blair to win a general election and will unveil his government’s legislative agenda in the King Speech’s on 17 July. 

The national picture – Starmer heading to No 10 as Labour secures landslide victory  

The clock struck 10.00, and with the publication of the exit poll Rishi Sunak’s premiership and the Conservative’s 14-year period in government turned into a pumpkin. After weeks of electioneering and stubbornly entrenched polling figures, there was to be no Cinderella story on this occasion. 

From the very early hours of Friday morning the scale of Labour’s victory became increasingly clear. Wins in bellwether constituencies like Swindon South suggested that the writing was on the wall and set the tone for what was to unfold over the coming hours. What followed was a harrowing set of results which saw a number of prominent names in the Conservative party lose their seats, including Grant Shapps, Penny Mordaunt, Alex Chalk and Jacob Rees-Mogg, all of whom had held positions in government at various stages over the last Parliament. As the sun began to rise it was announced that Rishi Sunak’s predecessor, Liz Truss, had lost her South West Norfolk seat. 

Labour, of course, profited in a number of areas from a dissolving Conservative vote, however, Ed Davey and the Lib Dems also had reason to celebrate as the results poured in, with the party winning a laudable 71 seats, an increase of 60 from their result in 2019. From taking seats like Brecon, Radnor and Cwm Tawe in Wales, to Cheltenham in the south west, and Chichester on the south coast, the Lib Dems made gains across the country and will be taking a strong cohort of MPs to Westminster as a result. 

It was also a hugely successful night for Reform UK. Whilst the party was unable to meet the 13 seats which had been predicted by the exit poll, largely due to the nature of the UK’s ‘first past the post’ system, the party finished with 15% of the vote and 4 MP’s – including Nigel Farage, who was elected in Clacton at the eighth time of asking.  

Whilst much of the focus will, of course, be placed on Conservative losses, those who cast an eye to the north of the border would also have seen a stinging result for the Scottish National party, who lost 38 seats to finish the night with only 8 MPs. Indeed, Labour’s profiteering from the SNP’s losses (increasing their tally by a sizeable 36 seats) played an important role in delivering the sizeable majority which Labour now enjoy at Westminster. 

So, what happens next? Well, it is fairly simple really. Rishi Sunak will travel to Buckingham Palace and formally tender his resignation to the King. Keir Starmer will subsequently be invited to the Palace, he will be asked to form a government by the King and then become Prime Minister – the first Labour Prime Minister in nearly 15 years. Following this, candidates, campaign staff and politicos across the land who stayed up to watch the drama unfold will get some much needed sleep.  

What happened in Wales? 

It was Labour’s night in Wales, no question about it. Despite being contested on new electoral boundaries, with the overall number of constituencies reduced to 32, Welsh Labour roared through and increased their number of seats by 9 from the previous election in 2019. The party will also be pleased that it has managed to rebuild its red walls in north east Wales and across the south. 

Rhun ap Iorwerth and Plaid Cymru too had cause for celebration. In addition to retaining their seats in Dwyfor Meirionnydd and the slightly re-drawn seat of Ceredigion Preseli, the party was able to capture its long-time target of Ynys Môn from the Conservatives in the north and the Caerfyrddin seat in the south west, defeating Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury and Chief Whip, Simon Hart, in the process. 

It will very much be a night to forget for the Conservatives in Wales, with the party losing 12 seats and returning no Welsh MPs for the first time since 2001. Seats like Wrexham, Clwyd North, and Monmouthshire, all of which had turned blue at various elections since 2005, fell into the Labour column and played a key part in sending Keir Starmer to No 10. Worse still, losses to Labour in Montgomeryshire and Glyndwr, the unseating of Welsh Secretary David TC Davies in Monmouthshire, and the Lib Dems capturing Brecon, Radnor and Cwm Tawe – all considered relatively safe for the party – will no doubt leave the party with many questions to answer over the coming weeks and months.  

However, closer scrutiny of the results suggests that, whilst Labour no doubt emerged victorious in Wales at this election, it was not as resounding an endorsement of the party as might initially appear. Across the country the party saw its vote share squeezed significantly, with only a handful of constituencies (Wrexham, Clwyd East, Montgomeryshire & Glyndwr, Blaenau Gwent & Rhymney and Monmouthshire) bucking the trend and delivering an increased vote share for Labour from their performance in 2019.  

Nevertheless, whilst the squeeze in Welsh Labour’s vote share should certainly be in the party’s mind, and the issues underlying this addressed ahead of the next Senedd election, returning some 85% of Wales’ MP’s will be cause for celebration for both Welsh and UK Labour, Vaughan Gething and, of course, the Prime Minister in waiting Keir Starmer.  

APPENDIX – Wales cluster results 

North Wales 

Seat  New MP  Predecessor  Majority  % change in vote share from 2019 
Alyn and Deeside  Mark Tami (LAB)  Mark Tami (LAB) / Rob Roberts (IND)   8,794  -0.3% 
Bangor Aberconwy  Claire Hughes (LAB)  Robin Millar / David Jones (CONs) / Hywel Williams (PC)  4,896  -4.8% 
Clwyd North  Gill German (LAB)  James Davies / David Jones (CONs)  1,196  -4.8% 
Clwyd East  Becky Gittins (LAB)  Simon Baynes / James Davies / David Jones (CONs) / Rob Roberts (IND)  4,622  +0.8% 
Dwyfor Meirionnydd  Liz Saville Roberts (PC)  Liz Saville Roberts / Hywel Williams (PCs)   15,876  +8.2% 
Wrexham  Andrew Ranger (LAB)  Sarah Atherton (CON)  5,948  +1.0% 
Ynys Môn  Llinos Medi (PC)  Virginia Crosbie (CON)  637  +4.0% 

Mid and West Wales 

Seat  New MP  Predecessor  Majority  % change in vote share from 2019 
Brecon, Radnor and Cwm Tawe  David Chadwick (LD)  Fay Jones (CON)  1,472  +0.3% 
Caerfyrddin / Carmarthen  Ann Davies (PC)  Jonathan Edwards (IND) / Simon Hart (CON)  4,535  +3.3% 
Ceredigion Preseli  Ben Lake (PC)  Ben Lake (PC) / Stephen Crabb (CON)  14,789  +15.8% 
Montgomeryshire and Glyndwr  Steve Witherden (LAB)  Craig Williams (CON)  3,815  +4.6% 
Mid and South Pembrokeshire   Henry Tufnell (LAB)  Stephen Crabb / Simon Hart (CONs)  1,878  -1.8% 

South Wales 

Seat  New MP  Predecessor  Majority  % change in vote share from 2019 
Aberafan Maesteg  Stephen Kinnock (LAB)  Stephen Kinnock (LAB)  10,354  -3.0% 
Blaenau Gwent and Rhymney  Nick Smith (LAB)  Chris Evans / Gerald Jones / Nick Smith (LABs)  12,183  +3.2% 
Bridgend  Chris Elmore (LAB)  Jamie Wallis (CON)  8,595  +1.4% 
Caerphilly  Chris Evans (LAB)  Wayne David / Chris Evans (LABs)  6,419  -5.9% 
Cardiff East  Jo Stevens (LAB)  Jo Stevens (LAB)  9,097  -18.7% 
Cardiff North  Anna McMorrin (LAB)  Anna McMorrin (LAB)  11,207  -5.7% 
Cardiff South and Penarth  Stephen Doughty (LAB)  Stephen Doughty / Jo Stevens (LABs)  11,767  -9.2% 
Cardiff West  Alex Barros-Curtis (LAB)  Kevin Brennan (LAB)  7,019  -13.5% 
Gower  Tonia Antoniazzi (LAB)  Tonia Antoniazzi (LAB)  11,567  -2.4% 
Llanelli  Nia Griffith (LAB)  Nia Griffith (LAB) / Jonathan Edwards (IND)  1,504  -8.0% 
Merthyr Tydfil and Aberdare  Gerald Jones (LAB)  Gerald Jones / Beth Winter (LABs)  7,447  -6.9% 
Monmouthshire  Catherine Fookes (LAB)  David T C Davies (CON)  3,338  +9.7% 
Neath and Swansea East  Carolyn Harris (LAB)  Christina Rees / Carolyn Harris / Stephen Kinnock (LABs)  6,627  -5.3% 
Newport East  Jessica Morden (LAB)  Jessica Morden / Ruth Jones (LABs)  9,009  -5.0% 
Newport West and Islwyn  Ruth Jones (LAB)  Ruth Jones / Chris Evans (LABs)  8,868  -0.3% 
Pontypridd  Alex Davies-Jones (LAB)  Alex Davies-Jones / Beth Winter (LABs)  8,402  -2.4% 
Rhondda and Ogmore  Chris Bryant (LAB)  Chris Bryant / Chris Elmore (LABs)  7,790  -8.5% 
Swansea West  Torsten Bell (LAB)  Geraint Davies (LAB)  8,515  -10.0% 
Torfaen  Nick Thomas-Symonds (LAB)  Nick Thomas-Symonds (LAB)  7,322  -0.2% 
Vale of Glamorgan  Kanishka Narayan (LAB)  Alun Cairns (CON)  4,216  -5.2% 

Boundary changes: Please note, following the Boundary Commission review, the 2024 General Election was contested on new parliamentary boundaries, the first such change since 2010. In Wales, the number of seats has fallen from 40 to 32, necessitating a major redrawing of constituency boundaries.