Crowds on Downing Street

Optimism from Downing Street as Sunak resigns and Starmer steps up

The crowds are queuing up outside Downing Street to celebrate Labour’s landslide election win and our reporter David Olaseinde is right in the thick of it.

Hundreds of people are making up a lively, optimistic crowd that seems high-spirited despite the pouring rain.

As former Prime Minister Rishi Sunak left, the crowd booed and cheered his departure. 

Of the people who have spoken to SWLondonder, most are anti-Conservative as opposed to pro-Labour, and voted tactically to get the Tories out of office.

Hackney Wick constituent Andrea Garland said: “ We are delighted, and so relieved. Get rid of them! 

“The Tories have wrecked the country, the mess they have created is disgusting – everything they’ve touched, they’ve destroyed.

“I believe Labour will govern for everybody, not just for themselves. I believe in Labour’s policies and Keir Starmer.”

After 14 years, there is a vehement public desire for change and, although there is scepticism towards Labour, for many it represents, at least, the lesser of two evils. 

Nevertheless, the vibrant atmosphere outside Downing Street suggests that Starmer is not exactly unliked.

Many say that Sunak hasn’t been given a fair trial, having only been in office for 20 months amidst Covid and the energy crisis in Europe. 

But the public are faced with the excessive strain on the NHS, increase in homelessness, inflation, a devastating cost-of-living crisis, and involvement in foreign conflicts under Tory rule.

Twickenham constituent Amy Foster said: “I feel hopeful and positive, it’s time for change from the lies, the corruption, the immorality, the trashing of the NHS, and cuts to vital funding services.

“We need to fund, respect, and honour the amazing institution that is the NHS.”

Hackney Wick constituent Andrew Bolton agreed, saying: “Labour will bring a bit of stability and a bit of common sense to government.

“These people [the Conservatives] are the dregs of the Brexit party.

“We want proper government, proper auditing, and lack of corruption.”

The first-past-the-post voting system has led hoards of constituents to vote tactically, calling into question how the results might have differed under proportional representation.

Voters have today said they would have voted for smaller parties, but on this occasion, in an attempt to oust the Conservatives, they opted with Labour instead.

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