The Conservative Party has won a big majority in the official results for yesterday’s General Election in the UK. These are the breakdowns for number of MPs:
Conservatives: 365 (+66)
Labour: 203 (-42)
Scottish National Party: 48 (+13)
Liberal Democrat: 11 (-10)
Others: 23 (-27)
Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s party seems to have gained ground in many traditional Labour Constituencies in northern England and in Wales.
Labour’s poor performance has led to calls from prominent party figures, including former Mayor of London Ken Livingstone, for leader Jeremy Corbyn to resign.
The SNP (Scottish National Party) seems to have made big gains, beyond their own expectations. The Brexit Party, lead by Nigel Farage, gained no seats. The Democratic Unionist Party, a pro-British Party in Northern Ireland, lost two seats, while the Social Democratic and Labour Party, an Irish nationalist party, gained two seats. Several other minor parties and independent members of Parliament lost their seats.
With this new majority in Parliament, PM Johnson will be expected to attempt to ratify the current deal with the EU and aim to leave Europe by the postponed date of 31st January 2020.
The SNP’s growth will however increase tensions between the Westminster and Scottish powers, and no doubt calls for a referendum on Scottish independence will gain more heft.
“For me I could not in good conscience vote for Labour with Corbyn as leader,” a lifelong Labour supporter said in the BBC’s live stream. She switched her vote to Conservative for the first time.
Voters are citing Labour’s ambiguous policy towards Brexit as the biggest reason why they are switching allegiances.
The industrial north, though more left-wing economically, were more likely to support Brexit than not. Where Boris led with a policy of swift exit, Labour leadership made allusions to gaining a better deal with the European Union. Their message seems not to have made much purchase amongst this demographic.
Journalist Alistair Campbell, a key figure during Tony Blair’s leadership, focuses on Corbynism as an idea. The pro-nationalisation and anti-market forces within the party have taken over. The idea that those politics would be persuasive was “delusional,” says Campbell.
The furore over perceived widespread anti-Semitism within the party may have also played a factor. Corbyn announced on Friday that he intends to step down from leadership within Labour early next year as a result of this election.