Labour has won the general election, with a forecasted ‘supermajority’ of 174 seats – gaining 411 seats at the time of writing.

Keir Starmer will soon be the UK’s fifty-eighth Prime Minister, after he visits the King later today. The composition of the Houses of Parliament will look very different from after the 2019 ‘Brexit’ election, when Boris Johnson secured a majority of 80 seats and Labour suffered its worst result since 1935. Commentators at the time struggled to see how Labour could get back into power, but five years is a long time.

This article is from the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity section on Connecting with Culture Issues & Trends.

 

Labour’s campaign can be summarised in a single word: change. Unlike 1997 though, when the party came to power on a wave of optimism, the overriding emotion of this election has been cynicism. The electorate wanted to punish the Conservative party, and they have done so. Keir Starmer’s landslide has been achieved with a lower popular vote than Theresa May secured in 2017 when the Conservatives lost their overall majority.

How should we respond to all this? In all things, we should be driven by love of God and neighbour.

First, we should be grateful that we live in a democracy and have the power to elect and depose our political rulers. This privilege to choose carries with it significant responsibility (Genesis 2:17). Less than half of the world’s population lives in a democracy of some kind. From Sudan to Myanmar, people continue to risk their lives in the pursuit of freedom in their countries.

Secondly, we should pray for our newly elected political leaders and for those who have lost power (1 Timothy 2:1–4). Politics is a noble profession and a lofty calling. We should pray that our new government and opposition parties put the interests of the country ahead of their own and act in ways that restrain evil and promote what is good. The size of Labour’s majority carries with it a special responsibility to act wisely and with restraint.

Thirdly, we should work for the flourishing of all by helping rebuild the ‘ancient ruins’ of our democratic institutions (Isaiah 61:4) through prayer and service in our daily lives. The level of political engagement in the UK is at an all-time low, and a majority of people – across democratic societies – do not believe their governments are working in the public’s interests. Democracy isn’t just about voting; it’s about active participation in civic life and working towards the common good.

Paul Woolley
CEO, LICC

This article is from the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity section on Connecting with Culture Issues & Trends.

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