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This election has upended British politics. A strange new landscape is revealed | Rafael Behr

Tribal loyalties and political certainties are falling away, but the Conservatives have been felled by a determined coalition

Elections do not change countries overnight. They reveal changes that were hidden – or visible but neglected – beneath layers of political complacency and cultural habit. The seismic event that has delivered Labour a vast haul of seats tells of tectonic pressure that started building long before Rishi Sunak’s rain-sodden campaign launch six weeks ago, in what already feels like a distant land.

Although opinion polls made a Conservative defeat look inevitable, there is a difference between forecasting regime change and waking up in a Britain that has dispatched scores of Tory MPs to political oblivion and chosen Keir Starmer to be prime minister with a commanding majority.

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