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U.K.’s Labour Party Headed for Huge Election Win

The center-Left Labour Party appears to have secured a decisive victory in the U.K. general election, marking a significant shift in the country’s political dynamics.

According to exit polls published by major local media organizations, including the BBC, ITV and Sky News after voting on Thursday was completed, Labour may have secured a 170-seat majority in the 650-seat House of Commons, the U.K.’s lower chamber of parliament.

That means that Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer should be Britain’s next Prime Minister and that he would have a substantial working majority in parliament.

At 2am British Summer time on Friday, some four hours after voting ended, the forecasts point to Labour controlling 410 seats in the Commons. The exit polls show the ruling Conservative Party being reduced to 131 seats and give the third placed Liberal Democrats 61 seats.

While exit polls are subject to error, and none of the political parties have yet declared victory or publicly accepted defeat, there can be little doubt about the huge swing among voters or of Labour’s landslide victory.

“An exit poll suggests the Labour Party is headed for a huge majority in Britain’s election, riding a wave of frustration with 14 years of Conservative rule. The poll released moments after polls closed on Thursday indicates that Labour leader Keir Starmer will be the country’s next prime minister,” said the Associated Press.

“To everyone who has campaigned for Labour in this election, to everyone who voted for us and put their trust in our changed Labour Party – thank you,” said Starmer via Twitter.

The far-right Reform Party led by Donald Trump-ally Nigel Farage was predicted to have received as many as six million votes, but with the U.K.’s winner-takes-all system applying in each constituency, Reform may get only get 13 parliamentary seats. Farage was reported to have called those predictions “huge.”

The Labour victory is likely to have far-reaching implications across various sectors, including the entertainment industry. The Conservatives have been beset by one political scandal after the other but in terms of media and entertainment they scored a win during this year’s spring budget with a 40% corporate tax relief for film and TV studios through 2034. The plan also includes a new tax credit for independent films shot in the U.K. that have a budget less than $19 million (£15 million), and a 5% increase in credit for visual effects in film and high-end TV. The plan has been hailed by the independent film sector, which was on the point of market failure in 2022. The budget also provided tax reliefs for theaters and orchestras.

During a televised campaign debate, Labour’s shadow minister for creative industries and digital, Chris Bryant, had affirmed the party’s commitment to preserving the film tax relief system. “Of course we’re going to keep the tax reliefs. We invented the idea of tax reliefs right at the beginning,” Bryant had said, referencing the film tax relief’s introduction in 2007 under the previous Labour government, who were voted out after ruling from 1997.

While Bryant stopped short of detailing potential modifications to the current credits, he hinted at the party’s intentions to keep the system competitive on a global scale. “We’ve got to keep elements of them under review, so that they’re as competitive around the world as is possible,” he had stated.

The shadow minister had also taken a swipe at the Conservative government’s handling of the tax relief system, particularly in relation to post-production incentives. “I would argue it’s taken us rather a long time to get to the point where post-production isn’t lost, for instance, to Canada,” Bryant had remarked, alluding to the budget decision to boost the tax credit rate by 5% and eliminate the 80% cap for visual effects.

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