Jeremy Corbyn says Labour has 'changed the face of British politics'

Labour leader watching results at home in Islington knowing there is a chance he could become PM

Benjamin Kentish
Friday 09 June 2017 03:13 BST
Jeremy Corbyn looks set to have exceeded expectations, with Labour forecast to have won 266 seats
Jeremy Corbyn looks set to have exceeded expectations, with Labour forecast to have won 266 seats (EPA)

Jeremy Corbyn has said Labour has “changed the face of British politics”, as polls suggest he could be on course for Number Ten.

With shock exit poll predictions suggesting Britain could be on course for a hung parliament, the Labour leader could now feasibly become the UK’s next Prime Minister.

Speaking from his home in Islington, where he is watching results come in surrounded by his family and advisers, Mr Corbyn thanked those who had backed his party.

He said: “I want to send my thanks to everyone who voted for our manifesto and its radical vision for a fairer Britain.

“Our team has worked so hard on this campaign – from door knocking to social media – and it’s great we have won so much support across the country. Whatever the final result, our positive campaign has changed politics for the better.”

If the exit poll is correct, Britain will have a hung parliament for the second time in seven years. As the leader of the party likely to have won the most seats, Theresa May will have the first opportunity to try to form a government.

Should she be unable to do so, however, Mr Corbyn is likely to attempt to form a rainbow coalition including the SNP, Liberal Democrats and Greens – an alliance that, if the exit poll is right, could be in a position to command a narrow parliamentary majority.

Labour is forecast to have won 266 seats compared to 314 for the Tories - short of the 326 needed for a majority in the House of Commons.

Regardless of the final result, the election looks set to be a disaster for Ms May, who began the campaign with a commanding poll lead but has seen it evaporate in recent days after a lacklustre campaign.

Labour figures such as Emily Thornberry have already called on the Prime Minister to resign.

And a senior Labour source said: “If this exit poll is correct, Theresa May’s credibility is completely shot. As May said herself, if she lost just six seats in this election she would not be Prime Minister.

“If the poll is correct, Labour has had the biggest increase in popular support during a campaign by any party in British political history by a massive margin.”

Allies of Mr Corbyn believe the fact that Ukip voters appear to be switching to Labour rather than the Conservatives is a sign of the popularity of Labour's policies. Pledges to tax big companies and the top 5 per cent of owners and renationalise industries were said to be particularly popular with Ukip Leave voters.

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