Following a landslide win for the Conservatives in the 2019 general election, Boris Johnson has secured his spot as Prime Minister.
In the weeks running up to voting day, opinion polls suggested that the party could expect a narrow majority. However, after gaining many Labour ‘safe’ seats across the UK, the Conservatives walked away with the biggest victory since Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s – leaving Labour with the worst result since 1935.
The Liberal Democrats also suffered a blow with party leader Jo Swinson losing her East Dunbartonshire seat to the SNP, who, on the other hand, made huge gains in Scotland.
The exit polls indicated a huge win for the Conservatives, and they eventually ended the night with a comfortable 364 seats (+66) compared to Labour’s 203 (-42), the SNP securing 48 seats (+13), Lib Dems 11 (-10) and Greens 1.
A number of areas which voted to leave the European Union in 2016 switched from red to blue, and the increased number of seats for Nicola Sturgeon’s party has reignited support for another Scottish independence referendum.
Boris Johnson’s reaction
Boris has called the outcome ‘historic’, promising to ‘work night and day’ to deliver the will of the people and stating: ‘The people want change. We cannot and must not let them down.’ He added that Brexit was the ‘irrefutable, irresistible, unarguable decision of the British people.’
‘I have a message for all of those who voted for us yesterday, you may only have lent us your vote, you may not think of yourself as a natural Tory,’ he said.
‘Your hand may have quivered over the ballot paper before you put your cross in the Conservative box and you intend to return to Labour next time round.
‘But if that is the case, I am humbled you have put your trust in me, put your trust in us and I will never take your support for granted.
‘I will make it my mission to work night and day, flat out to prove you right for voting for me this time around.’
Jeremy Corbyn’s reaction
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said that he will step down after a ‘process of reflection’.
‘I will not lead the party in any future general election campaign,’ he announced. ‘I will discuss with our party to ensure there is a process now of reflection on this result and on the policies that the party will take going forward.
‘And I will lead the party during that period to ensure that discussion takes place and we move on into the future.’
He added: ‘The issues of social justice and the issues of needs of people will not go away just because Brexit is dealt with in the way Boris Johnson plans to deal with it at the moment.’
Jo Swinson’s reaction
The Lib Dem leader has stepped down after losing her seat by 149 votes last night, calling the result ‘hugely disappointing’, saying: ‘For millions of people in our country these results will bring dread and dismay and people are looking for hope.
‘I still believe that we as a country can be warm and generous, inclusive and open, and that by working together with our nearest neighbours we can achieve so much more.’
What happens next?
Boris is hopeful that this result will break the parlimentary deadlock over Brexit and that the UK will leave as planned on 31st January 2020. He once again promised to achieve this, ‘no ifs, no buts’ during a speech on Friday.
The Liberal Democrats will be resided over by Deputy Ed Davey until a formal leadership election, and Labour is yet to announce how their party will move forward from the crushing defeat.
Nicola Sturgeon is said to be seeking a Section 30 order from the UK government for permission to hold another independence referendum in Scotland.
While Boris has managed to secure his spot as PM, the political landscape is still changing and only time will tell what lies ahead for the UK.