General Election 2024: The results in 10 key graphs

Dr Apurav Bhatiya gives us a deep-dive into what the general election results mean, in ten key graphs - from turn out to vote share.

Keir Starmer giving his first speech as Prime Minister outside 10 Downing Street with supporters watching

Keir Starmer vs past Labour leaders – parliamentary seats and vote share

Keir Starmer’s performance in the 2024 general election places him among the top Labour leaders, with a seat share close to Tony Blair’s high in 1997 and 2001. However, in terms of vote shares, the Labour Party under Keir Starmer ranks below average as compared to past leaders. This discrepancy, where a party wins a disproportionately higher number of seats relative to their vote share, suggests that the victory margins were very narrow. Analysing the seats gained by the Labour Party reveals that the average victory margin was only 12%, indicating tightly contested races.

Keir Starmer vs Labour Leaders share of seats in parliament graph
Keir Starmer vs Labour leaders overall party vote share graph

Keir Starmer vs past Labour leader's personal vote share

Typically, changes in the number of seats won by a party and the party leader’s personal vote share align closely. For instance, in the 1997 general election, the Labour Party gained 22% more seats in Parliament, and Tony Blair’s vote share in his Sedgefield constituency increased by 11%. However, the 2024 election for Keir Starmer presents an anomaly: while the Labour Party secured 34% more seats compared to the 2019 election, Starmer's vote share in his constituency decreased by 16%.

Labour leader personal vote share graph

Prominent Labour figures’ personal vote share change

Keir Starmer is not the only Labour candidate to lose votes in his constituency. The majority of the Labour MPs announced as cabinet ministers saw their popularity go down: Rachel Reeves, chancellor (6% decrease), Angela Rayner, deputy prime minister and levelling up secretary (4% decrease), Wes Streeting, health and social care secretary (17% decrease), and David Lammy, foreign secretary (19% decrease).

Prominent Labour candidates vote share over time

Historic seat share of smaller parties

The 2024 general election was not just a historic win for the Labour Party. But political parties other than Labour and Conservative got their highest vote shares and seat shares in this election as compared to the last 100 years. This increase suggests a notable shift in voter support away from the traditional two-party dominance towards alternative parties, indicating a possible fragmentation of the political landscape in the future.

Seat share of smaller parties over time

Labour vs Conservative incumbent seat holds/gains.

Liberal Democrats made significant inroads and won most of their seats in constituencies where the Conservative party were incumbents, particularly when an incumbent conservative candidate did not re-contest in the 2024 general election. However, they did not manage to win a single seat in constituencies with an incumbent from the Labour Party, where Labour retained over 97% of the seats. The Conservative Party retained only a third of the constituencies where they were incumbents.

Share of seats gained/retained by incumbency status

Labour vs Conservative incumbent seat turnout

At 60.5%, the overall turnout in this general election was at a historic low. In areas with a Labour incumbent, voter engagement was notably lower, reflected by an average turnout of around 55%. Moreover, over 75% of the constituencies with a Labour incumbent had a turnout below the national average. This suggests lower mobilization efforts and potentially less political activity or voter interest in these regions given the outcome of opinion polls in the last six months in favour of the Labour party. In constituencies with a Conservative incumbent, the turnout was also at lower levels but at least comparable to the previous general elections in 2010 (65%), 2015 (66%), 2017 (69%), and 2019 (68%).

Turnout by Labour vs Conservative incumbent status

Far-right vote share

While the Liberal Democrats secured 72 seats, making them third in terms of seats in Westminster, the far-right Reform UK party saw an even more significant increase in their vote share. Reform UK ranked third in overall votes secured and garnered half a million more votes than the Liberal Democrats. The distribution of the Reform UK vote share in 2024 is comparable to the UKIP vote share in the 2015 general election that preceded the 2016 Brexit Referendum. The rise in the vote share for far-right mirrors the trends observed in other European countries suggesting a persistent support for far-right policies amid continuing political and economic uncertainties.

Far-right vote share over time

Reform and Green performance vs Brexit vote

Reform UK has gained significant traction in constituencies with a higher predicted Brexit Leave vote, indicating a persistence of more right-leaning and pro-Brexit sentiments in these constituencies. The Green Party gained most of their votes in constituencies with a higher predicted Brexit Remain vote.

Vote share by leave/remain Brexit vote

Collapse in Muslim vote for Labour

Historically, the Labour Party had strong support in constituencies with a higher Muslim population. This election saw a significant fall in Labour vote share in these areas and an increase in vote share for other parties and independent candidates.

Party vote share by share of Muslim vote 2019 vs 2024