- The result is the Conservatives' best since 1987, and Labour's worst since 1935.
- The election was called to break the deadlock in Parliament caused by Brexit.
- "I will get Brexit done by January 31— no ifs, buts or maybes," Johnson told his supporters in London after the victory.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party has won a large majority in Thursday’s parliamentary elections. This election result guarantees the Prime Minister the number of parliamentarians he needs to “get Brexit done” by January 31. The Conservatives won 365 out of the 650 seats in the House of Commons— more than enough for a comfortable absolute majority and for Johnson to remain Prime Minister.
Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party managed to get only 203 seats, its worst performance since 1935, when it won 154 seats. The Liberal Democrats fell to eleven seats, the Greens kept one. In Scotland, the Scottish National Party (SNP) secured 48 out of 59 seats. In Northern Ireland, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) fell to eight seats, the nationalist Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) gained two, republican Sinn Féin (SF) remained at seven, and the cross-community Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (APNI) gained a seat. In Wales, the nationalist Plaid Cymru (PC) kept all four of its seats.
Forty-seven and one-half million Britons went to the polls Thursday, the third election in four years, which was called by the Conservatives to try and break the deadlock, created by Parliament, by the process of leaving the European Union (EU). The Conservatives’ victory was much more significant than expected, and their best result since Margaret Thatcher’s third majority government in 1987.
During the campaign, Johnson repeatedly reiterated his promise to deliver Brexit by January 31, 2020. Following the resounding victory, the prime minister thanked the British for participating in the elections. ”Thank you to everyone across our great country who voted, who volunteered, who stood as candidates. We live in the greatest democracy in the world,” he wrote on Twitter.
Johnson’s promise to deliver Brexit by January 31 is actually ten months later than originally planned. The postponement was due to an earlier stalemate in Parliament, which voted three times against a deal negotiated by Johnson’s predecessor, Theresa May. The last Parliament also refused to approve the deal negotiated by Johnson within three days, thus making it impossible to exit at the end of October.
To unblock this impasse, Johnson called for the early election, the first to be held in the United Kingdom in December since 1923. During the campaign, the Prime Minister promised to “get Brexit done,” and increase spending on health, education, and safety. For Johnson, who based his campaign on the promise of advancing Brexit, the victory came as a reward after a series of difficulties imposed by opponents, who succeeded in blocking the Prime Minister’s measures during the first months of his rule.
“I will get Brexit done by January 31— no ifs, buts or maybes,” Johnson told his supporters in London after the victory. “We will leave the European Union as one United Kingdom, taking back control of our laws, borders, money, our trade, immigration system, delivering on the democratic mandate of the people.”
Labour, currently under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn, had its worst result since 1935, losing 59 seats. Corbyn has since announced he will not lead the party in another general election (on or before 2024), but will stay on as Labour leader, for the time being.