Starmer pledges to ‘reset’ Britain as Labour takes over after 14 years of Conservative rule

By: Nigel Taylor
London, UK

Britain’s new Prime Minister Keir Starmer pledged on Friday to use his massive electoral majority to rebuild the country, saying he wanted to take the heat out of politics after years of upheaval and strife.
Standing outside his new office and residence at Number 10 Downing Street, Starmer acknowledged the scale of the challenge after his party’s landslide victory in a parliamentary election ended 14 years of often tumultuous Conservative government.

He warned that any improvements would take time, and he would need to first rebuild faith in politics.”This lack of trust can only be healed by actions, not words. I know that,” he said.”Whether you voted Labour or not, in fact, especially if you did not, I say to you directly – My government will serve you. Politics can be a force for good. We will show that.”
Starmer was greeted by huge cheers and took time before making his speech to shake hands with and hug aides and well-wishers who lined Downing Street – scenes that were reminiscent of Labour predecessor Tony Blair’s arrival in government in 1997. Labour’s victory was seismic. It was very nearly unprecedented; only Tony Blair’s Labour Party has ever won more seats in an election.
But Labour’s win was also fragile. The vote breakdown made clear that the election was as much, if not more, about the public’s anger towards the Conservatives as it was about excitement for Labour’s offer.
Starmer’s party only increased its vote share by a few percentage points from its dismal 2019 showing, even though it may end up with almost twice as many seats. Starmer won a smaller vote share than his predecessor Jeremy Corbyn did in 2017, an election that Labour also lost. It was helped in seat after seat by a strong showing from populists Reform UK, who tore votes away from the Conservatives.
Those stats highlight the oddities of Britain’s first-past-the-post voting system, but also the dangers facing Starmer. He will govern with a powerful majority in parliament, but the public coalition he has built will not afford him a long honeymoon period.He will be opposed by the Conservatives, but also by Reform, which challenged Labour candidates in several seats around the country. And a throng of left-wing support will also attempt to detract attention from Starmer; his predecessor Corbyn, who had been expelled by the party, won as an independent in Islington North and will become the face of that opposition.


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