Britain woke up on Friday to a seismic political shift. After 14 years in opposition, the Labour Party dealt a crushing blow to the ruling Conservatives.

Party leader Keir Starmer is poised to become prime minister imminently, replacing Conservative counterpart Rishi Sunak, whose party suffered one of its worst electoral defeats in history.

“We did it,” Starmer proclaimed to an enthusiastic crowd in central London early in the morning. “You voted for change, and change has arrived.”

He thanked voters for transforming Great Britain, lifting what he described as a burden from the nation’s shoulders, allowing it to look ahead with optimism.

As election night progressed, Labour’s triumph became clear. An exit poll late Thursday indicated Labour was set to capture 410 seats, just shy of its all-time record. By 5 a.m. local time, Labour had secured the 326 seats needed for a parliamentary majority.

In contrast, the Conservatives faced a catastrophic outcome, projected to win only 131 seats, their lowest ever.

Unlike the U.S., Britain transitions power swiftly. Starmer is expected to visit Buckingham Palace Friday morning for his formal appointment as prime minister by King Charles III, a customary procedure in the constitutional monarchy.

Meanwhile, outgoing Prime Minister Sunak and his family will vacate 10 Downing Street, a tradition that includes leaving a handwritten note of well-wishes for the incoming leader.

The Starmer family will soon move into the iconic residence, where Keir Starmer will deliver his first address to the nation as prime minister.

However, challenges await Labour. They inherit an economy in stagnation, failing public services, and pressing social issues such as child poverty and homelessness. The National Health Service, beloved but ailing, also requires urgent attention.

Labour’s victory, while significant, may be tempered by shallow support driven more by dissatisfaction with the Conservatives than deep loyalty to Labour.

Labour’s dominance in British politics is rare, as the Conservatives have historically held sway since World War II, with Labour governing for just over 30 of the past 120 years.

Despite Labour’s traditional left-of-center stance, Starmer, akin to Tony Blair before him, has embraced centrist policies, aiming to appeal broadly across the political spectrum.

Critics argue Starmer’s cautious approach may not suffice given the daunting domestic and international challenges ahead, including potential dealings with figures like former U.S. President Donald Trump.

On defense, Labour pledges to increase military spending and has committed to green energy initiatives but faces scrutiny over the scope of its environmental policies.

Internationally, Labour is expected to maintain a nuanced stance on China, balancing criticism of human rights abuses with economic realities.

As Starmer prepares to lead, the world watches to see how his government will navigate these complex issues and steer Britain through its next chapter.