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"Starmer tsunami" What the general election results mean for the UK

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A historic landslide victory has put the Labour Party back in No 10.

The new Prime Minister, Sir Keir Starmer, rounded off his exultant victory speech by stating that the UK now has the opportunity to “get its future back”. But what will this future look like? What can the Labour Party do over the next 100 days and weeks to stimulate investment, prioritise growth, and get the UK back on track with net zero?

Labour’s mandate is strong, giving them the green-light to act boldly on social, economic, and environmental matters. Not only did Labour win more than 400 seats, but they also unseated multiple senior Tory MPs including Penny Mordaunt, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Grant Shapps, and former Prime Minister Liz Truss. The UK electoral system proved frustrating for Reform UK who, despite garnering over 4 million votes, managed to translate that into only 4 seats.

The Liberal Democrats and the Green Party, however, have seen huge improvements. Overnight, the Greens quadrupled their presence in Parliament, securing 4 seats, and the Lib Dems secured over 70 seats, citing an imaginative campaign strategy and a crumbling Conservative vote as their reasons for success. Both parties have promised to hold the new government to account, particularly on issues such as housing and the environment.

Starmer’s election manifesto, titled ‘Change’, highlights his key focuses:

  • Build an NHS fit for the future, with 40,000 more appointments every year and 8,500 additional mental health staff
  • Commit to NATO, international development, and trade agreements
  • Close tax loopholes to fund investment in public services

And, on the topic of making Britain a clean energy superpower:

  • Enact a time-limited windfall tax on oil and gas giants, funding a Warm Homes Plan
  • Establish Great British Energy, a publicly-owned company, aiming to invite communities to come forwards with their own projects
  • Make British business competitive again, to mobilise private investment and accelerate net zero

These are admirable aims, but success requires decisive action.

Mike Childs, Head of Policy at Friends of the Earth, urged: “It couldn’t be more imperative that the new government makes the environment a top priority.” Others are prompting the incoming government to develop a “clear roadmap” to net zero, with a detailed climate plan setting out the path to 2050. Labour must focus on planning reform, too, to unravel grid delays and unleash renewable energy development.

Principally, the Greens’ strong showing should indicate to Labour that the environment has very much taken a top spot on the public agenda.

 

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