Labour supporters in shock as Prime Minister Boris Johnson asserts “powerful mandate to get Brexit done”
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party has won a landslide victory in Thursday’s general election, final results show.
With 644 seats out of 650 declared so far, Conservatives have won 366, Labour secured 203, followed by the potential Labour ally Scottish National Party (SNP) at 48. The pro-EU Liberal Democrats got 11 seats. Nigel Farage’s Brexit party, which pulled majority of its candidates in favor of the Conservatives, failed to register a single win.
The result gives Johnson enough lawmakers in the Lower House to “get Brexit done” by 31 January.
While the Conservatives look forward to their best result since 1987, Jeremy Corbyn-led Labour Party is headed for one of the worst outcome in its post-war history. Conservative candidates made inroads into traditional Labour heartlands, smashing the party’s so-called “red wall” in working class districts, a resounding left-wing defeat not seen since the days of Margaret Thatcher.
Corbyn described the result, which gave his party little over 200 seats, as “very disappointing.” The left-wing leader announced his decision to step down as the party chief before the next general election. “I want to also make it clear that I will not lead the party in any future general election campaign,” the Labour Party leader said.
This might not be enough for Corbyn’s detractors in the party who are calling for him to quit immediately. “Jeremy Corbyn was a disaster for Labour – everyone knew that he couldn’t lead the working class out of a paper bag,” senior Labour politician Alan Johnson said as results started pouring in. “He should never have been elected in the first place,” former Labour minister Chris Leslie lamented.
BBC reported a Conservative landslide:
The Conservatives have taken a string of former Labour strongholds, with the party forecast to win the general election with a comfortable majority.
Jeremy Corbyn said it was a “very disappointing night” – and he would not lead Labour into the next election.
Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson has lost her seat to the Scottish National Party.
The BBC is now forecasting the Tories will get a majority of 74, with Boris Johnson saying it was a “powerful mandate to get Brexit done”.
Labour have lost seats across the North, Midlands and Wales in places which backed Brexit in the 2016 referendum.
They are set to win 63 fewer seats than in 2017, it is suggested.
While the pro-Brexit Leave vote remained intact behind the Conservatives — thanks largely to the generous gesture by Nigel Farage of standing down majority of his party’s candidates, the pro-EU Remain vote seems to have split between the socialist Labour and the pro-EU Liberal Democrats, media reports suggest.
U.S. President Donald Trump congratulated the British Prime Minister on his stunning victory. “Looking like a big win for Boris in the U.K.!’ President tweeted Thursday night.
Looking like a big win for Boris in the U.K.!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 13, 2019
The UK election result comes as a big disappointment to the socialists and leftists on both sides of the Atlantic. New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez endorsed Corbyn on the election day, urging Britons to vote for Labour on Twitter. Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders has long admired the Labour Party chief, seeing him as a role model for the progressives in the Democratic Party. “What Corbyn has tried to do with the Labour Party is not dissimilar to what some of us are trying to do with the Democratic Party,” Sanders admitted in 2017. Germany’s Social Democratic Party, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition partner, came out in support of Corbyn on Twitter, declaring: “We have a message for our comrades in the UK: We are at your side. Get out the vote. Vote Labour.” Those hope have now been dashed.
With comfortable majority now at hand, Johnson seems to be pushing to get Britain out of the EU on January 31. “Early indications suggest the Commons [British Lower House] will be asked to sit before Christmas, and the House of Lords [British Upper House] between Christmas and New Year, to get Brexit legislation through as soon as possible,” British newspaper The Telegraph confirmed as election results came out. With Brussels refusing to cooperate, the re-elected Prime Minister will have to show political courage by putting all options of the table, including the no-deal Brexit. Protracted negotiations with the EU and more deadline extensions will be a betrayal of the electoral verdict calling for Brexit. The failure to quit the EU despite such a resounding mandate could irreparable damage people’s trust in the British democracy.
[Cover image via YouTube]
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