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He’s beaten and humiliated, but Rishi Sunak has one final job to do – for party and country | Simon Jenkins

He must do everything he can to make sure it is MPs, and not party members, who choose his successor

You can grieve over the bodies, the coffins, the funeral rites, but the worst aftermath of death is the autopsy. Who, or what, was to blame?

Focus groups at the start of the campaign were clear. The electorate wanted to blame the sufferings of the country on one thing: 14 years of Tory rule. In Scotland it passed a similar judgment on nationalist rule. Polls showed that Labour’s leader, Keir Starmer, was not especially popular, and his policies did not diverge widely from those of the government. That is why his lectern was decked with one message: “Change”. With that, at least, the electors agreed.

Simon Jenkins is a Guardian columnist

Guardian Newsroom: Election results special

On Friday 5 July, 7.30pm-9pm BST, join Hugh Muir, Gaby Hinsliff, John Crace, Jonathan Freedland and Zoe Williams for unrivalled analysis of the general election results. Book tickets here or at

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