The UK election results may be surprising to many, but for the Conservative party, it proves that gambling on Boris has paid off. The clarity of his slogan as well as his people skills and smart social media use have earned him the Conservative majority he set out to achieve. Despite his often insensitive and untruthful language, the Prime Minister has managed to win over fifty seats in the North and Midlands, seats that have been Labour for decades.
Some commentators feel that the Labour party failed to engage with many of its core-vote, while also alienating thousands of voters with its conflicting stance on Brexit. Recriminations are well underway as many blame Jeremy Corbyn, who’s already announced he won’t lead the party into another general election. But the party appears as divided as ever. The majority of Labour voters supporter Corbyn’s policies, whereas many Labour MPs would have chosen a more moderate approach to left-wing politics. Ironically, it will be up to the Labour members to elect a new leader.
The Liberal Democrats had a bad day too. with Jo Swinson losing her seat to the SNP. The party’s ‘scrap Brexit’ campaign strategy failed miserably.
UK election results – Labour lose stronghold in the North and Midlands
Targeting Leave seats in the North and Midlands was a tall task considering that voters in those areas had been voting Labour for generations. But the Tory strategy has worked not only in Leave constituencies but also among Remain voters. The Labour party must now assess its failure, while it is up to the new government to ensure that the newly gained supporters will vote Tory in the future too.
SNP rules in Scotland and nationalists win a majority in Northern Ireland for the first time
In Scotland, the SNP won an extra thirteen seats bringing the party’s dominance into sharper focus. Leader Nicola Sturgeon has already called for a second referendum on independence but is unlikely to find support for it from the new Conservative government.
In Northern Ireland, Nigel Dodds, who lead the DUP in the House of Commons, lost his seat to Sinn Fein. In total, the DUP lost two seats, Sinn Fein maintained its seven, while both the Alliance party and the SDLP made gains. As of now, the nationalist community hold the majority of Westminster seats in Northern Ireland for the first time.
Calls for a border poll are growing louder, and the UK election result may bring such a poll closer to reality.
Brexit and the future of the Union
The strong Conservative majority will allow Boris Johnson to pass his Brexit deal and have the UK leave the European Union at the end of January 2020. Trade negotiations will ensue with a deadline at the end of next year, which many believe doesn’t allow enough time to forge a trade deal. This leaves open the possibility of the crash-out Brexit many Remainers have been dreading.
With both Scotland and Northern Ireland having copperfastened their Remain stance and a border and independence poll up for discussion, Boris Johnson may have scored a seismic victory but might be facing issues surrounding the integrity of the union in the not too distant future.