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Results of the 2024 UK General Election can be found on https://www.bbc.com/news/articles/c4nglegege1o

The difference between the Conservatives and Labour in percentage terms has hardly changed in months and the campaign did little to alter this.

Generally the discussion we had in the Diplomatic Academy in April proved correct.

At the time there were several unknowns including the date of the election and whether Farage and Reform would stand. He declared his intention to stand in Clacton, former UKIP and Brexit territory, one week into the campaign which was a disaster for the Tories.

He won the seat and enters the House of Commons for the first time and is accompanied by a few other Brexit MPs. Considering the election system this was quite an achievement.

The Tories got hammered by Reform but also especially in the South by the Liberal Democrats who ran a fun campaign with serious issues and surprised the pundits.

The SNP in Scotland was decimated by the surge to Labour but the extent of their losses was perhaps surpising.

A First Analysis

The task for Sunak was enormous and it was clear after the debacle under Liz Truss that what James Callaghan had called a “Sea Change” was in full swing, see also https://www.wienerzeitung.at/h/eine-politische-zeitenwende-in-grossbritannien

Despite that the enthusiasm for Labour is lukewarm. The votes against both the SNP and the Tories reflected the fact that a long term in power can lead to smugness with corruption charges and scandals. Changing the leaders failed to convince voters. The results showed the old adage that governments lose elections to be true. Divided parties also fail to impress.

Just before the election there was speculation that the Conservatives would even be the third largest party in parliament and not even get 100 seats. This proved to be incorrect and some in the party were quietly relieved when the exit poll came in. Nevertheless they will have to work hard to come even remotely near to winning the next election.

Turn-out was under 60 percent (see table below for some comparisons).

Also for comparison the distribution of seats in recent years since the Commons has comprised 650 Members.

About the author

 Melanie Sully (Prof. Dr.) is a Board Member of the Austro-British Society, editor, writer and consultant, who was for many years professor of political science at the Diplomatic Academy, Vienna. Formerly Voice of America radio correspondent, Dr. Sully acts as a consultant on good governance projects for the Cultural Department of the Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs, Austria. Further she has worked as a consultant for the OSCE on projects such as parliamentary standards, comparative legislatures, as well as women’s political participation. She gave presentations on parliaments and ethics and legislative standards for parliamentarians in Tbilisi and for the Council of Europe, gave Guest Professorial Lecture, for politics at the University of London, and has given expert evidence to the House of Commons.