Election key moments: Farage wins, Shapps loses and Starmer mobbed by supporters

UK

It has been a night of big wins, historic losses… and more than a few surprises.

Voters have handed the Conservatives their worst defeat in the party’s history, while Sir Keir Starmer’s Labour Party is on course for a huge majority, according to the exit poll.

Follow election latest: Results and reaction live

After intrigue, drama and more than a few unexpected events already, here are some of the key moments:

Exit poll predicts Labour landslide

Published after polls closed around the country, the exit poll produced the big headline: Labour are predicted to win a landslide victory with 410 seats, with the Conservatives set for their worst showing in modern history on 131 seats.

The poll also suggested success for the Liberal Democrats (61 seats) and Reform UK (13 seats).

The SNP were projected to win just 10 seats, with four for Plaid Cymru, two for the Green Party and 19 for other parties.

Starmer mobbed by supporters

Sir Keir Starmer smiled and hugged supporters as he arrived at the count for his seat in Holborn & St Pancras.

Expected to become prime minister after the results are in, the Labour leader was mobbed by the party faithful as he made his way through the crowd in north London.

After comfortably defending his seat, he thanked his family and all those who had supported him.

Elsewhere in the UK, Starmer’s party have made a string of gains from the Conservatives.

Read more:
Starmer: ‘People have spoken’
UK’s political landscape could be transformed – here’s why

Image:
Keir Starmer arrives at the count for his seat in north London

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First cabinet casualty – Alex Chalk loses his seat

Alex Chalk, the justice secretary and Lord Chancellor, was the first member of the Cabinet to lose their seat, defeated by the Liberal Democrats in Cheltenham.

It came after Labour’s Heidi Alexander unseated former justice secretary Sir Robert Buckland in Swindon South.

A number of other Conservative ministers and grandees are also in tight races, so there may be more to come.

Some of those at risk include: Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, Education Secretary Gillian Keegan, Leader of the Commons Penny Mordaunt, and Environment Secretary Steve Barclay.

Image:
Alex Chalk in April. Pic: PA


Defence Secretary Grant Shapps loses

Once a contender for the Conservative leadership, Grant Shapps has failed to defend his seat in Welwyn Hatfield.

At around 3.10am the defence secretary became the highest profile Tory so far on the night to lose their seat.

He lost by a margin of 3,799 votes.

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The moment Grant Shapps lost his seat

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Jeremy Corbyn wins as Independent

Barred from standing as a Labour candidate, the former party leader triumphed in Islington North.

He won 24,120 votes – with Labour candidate Praful Nargund only taking around 16,000.

Corbyn has held the seat for more than 40 years and had been heavily campaigning locally to keep hold of it.

Nigel Farage wins in Clacton

The Reform UK leader, standing to be an MP for the eighth time, won with a large majority in the Essex seat of Clacton.

He hailed as “truly extraordinary” the progress his party has made in the weeks since he returned to lead it.

“My plan is to build a mass national movement over the next few years, and hopefully it’ll be big enough to challenge the general election properly in 2029…

“We’re coming for Labour, be in no doubt about that.”

Image:
Reform UK leader Nigel Farage won in Clacton. Pic: PA

Rise of Reform UK as party wins seat for the first time

As the party waited for news of Nigel Farage, Reform UK won its first elected seat in Parliament as Lee Anderson (who became their first MP after defecting to Reform from the Tories earlier this year) finished first in Ashfield.

The Reform vote was under the spotlight from the get-go on Thursday night. The first three seats to be declared, all in the northeast, were Labour holds but notably all had Reform UK finishing second, replacing the Conservatives as runners-up.

This trend continued in other seats in the region, with Reform finishing second to Labour in a slew of seats as the Tory vote cratered.

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Lee Anderson wins for Reform

Labour frontbencher toppled by Greens in Bristol

Green Party co-leader Carla Denyer won in Bristol Central, unseating senior Labour MP Thangam Debbonaire.

It had been a tight race, where the Labour shadow culture minister faced a strong push from the Green Party in the liberal constituency.

Education secretary Gillian Keegan loses in Chichester

A longtime Tory stronghold, Chichester has turned yellow as Gillian Keegan was toppled by the Liberal Democrats.

The education secretary finished more than 12,000 votes behind victor Jess Brown-Fuller.

Senior Tories Penny Mordaunt and Johnny Mercer lose within minutes of each other

As results came in thick and fast around 4am, two senior Conservatives both lost their seats.

Penny Mordaunt, Commons leader and once a leadership contender, lost to Labour in Portsmouth North.

In Plymouth Moor View in the south-west, veterans minister Johnny Mercer also lost to Labour.

George Galloway loses seat

After an insurgent campaign to win Rochdale in a by-election in February, George Galloway was not able to defend the seat this time around.

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George Galloway

A divisive figure, Galloway had won the seat following a campaign dogged by controversy and dominated by the Middle East conflict.

Tonight, the Workers’ Party leader finished in second place with 11,508 votes. Labour’s Paul Waugh won the seat with 13,047 votes.

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