UK polls explained: What led to Rishi Sunak’s defeat and how did Keir Starmer-led Labour secure a win after 14 years?

    The Labour Party returned to power after 14 years as the Rishi Sunak-led Tories lost more than 200 seats in the recent UK elections. The Indian-origin former PM apologised to the public and took responsibility for the loss during his final address from Number 10 Downing Street. But there are several key factors that contributed to the downfall of the Tories in UK.

    “To the country, I would like to say first and foremost, I am sorry,” Sunak had said outside the Prime Minister’s residence at Downing Street yesterday.

    The Conservative party’s historic tenure has seen five prime ministers — including a disastrous 49 day stint Liz Truss — a global pandemic and even Brexit.

    Here’s everything you need to know about the circumstances that brought the 14 year Tory rule to an end.

    1. Long waitlists of 7.6 million people for hospital treatment in England, increase in household bills, and mortgage repayments have been the key red lights of the consecutive rule.
    2. Owning a house in England has become difficult. Only the cheapest 10% of houses that are affordable, is available to the middle-income group in the country.

    3. Citizens have not been satisfied with the National Health Services (NHS) of Great Britain. The satisfaction levels began to fall majorly during the Conservative rule in 2020, after the first year of Covid lockdowns in the country.

    4. Higher immigration numbers have been recorded post Brexit. In 2023, the net migration number clocked in at 6,85000. This is said to be the highest since 2010. In May 2024, Rishi Sunak had promised that there won’t be any deportation flights to Rwanda before July 4. The deportations come under Britain’s Rwanda asylum plan, an immigration policy whereby people identified by the UK as illegal immigrants, would be relocated to Rwanda.

    5. Legal aids have been compensated with, thereby increasing the timelines for each case. As a result, victims lost faith and withdrew from the legal process.

    6. Living costs had surged by a significant margin, as the interest rates in Britain were reported to be the highest in 15 years. According to a chart by The Guardian, over 3 million food parcels were distributed by food banks.

    7. Meanwhile, The Independent quoted experts to opine that Sunak had overpromised and underdelivered, leading to his greatest failure. He had promised that he would deliver the manifesto by 2019, which was in reality, impossible, given the state of finances in England.

    8.The firm promises made by Sunak, made his image bold. But the opposition continued to point out his shortcomings, wrote The Independent.

    9. Rishi Sunak failed in levelling up the NHS, and creating better schools, safer streets, and control on immigration as well as creation of jobs.

    10. Sunak’s famous statement of “a man is a man, a woman is a woman – and that’s just common sense,” which he made in 2023, at a party conference in Manchester, had further caused many to perceive him as a militant individual.

    Meanwhile, newly elected labour minister Keir Starmer is set to take charge today, and has pledged to “rebuild Britain” after his party’s landslide victory ended 14 years of Conservative rule.

    “The work of change begins today” Starmer posted on X, alongwith a photo of him and his wife at 10 Downing Street.

    The Labour Party’s policies, termed ‘progressive realism,’ are aimed at navigating global challenges.

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