January 28, 2020
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    Election results 2019: Boris Johnson returns to power with big majority

    December 13, 2019

    Boris Johnson will return to Downing Street with a big majority after the Conservatives swept aside Labour in its traditional heartlands. With just a handful of seats left to declare in the general election, the BBC forecasts a a Tory majority of 78. The prime minister said it would give him a mandate to "get Brexit done" and take the UK out of the EU next month. Jeremy Corbyn said Labour had a "very disappointing night" and he would not fight a future election.

    The BBC forecast suggests the Tories will get 364 MPs, Labour 203, the SNP 48, the Lib Dems 12, Plaid Cymru four, the Greens one, and the Brexit Party none. That means the Conservatives will have their biggest majority at Westminster since Margaret Thatcher's 1987 election victory. Labour, which has lost seats across the North, Midlands and Wales in places which backed Brexit in 2016, is facing its worst defeat since 1935.

    Speaking after he was re-elected in Uxbridge, west London, with a slightly higher majority, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "It does look as though this One Nation Conservative government has been given a powerful new mandate to get Brexit done."He added: "Above all I want to thank the people of this country for turning out to vote in a December election that we didn't want to call but which I think has turned out to be a historic election that gives us now, in this new government, the chance to respect the democratic will of the British people to change this country for the better and to unleash the potential of the entire people of this country."

    Speaking at his election count in Islington North, where he was re-elected with a reduced majority, Mr Corbyn said Labour had put forward a "manifesto of hope" but "Brexit has so polarised debate it has overridden so much of normal political debate".Labour's vote is down around 8% on the 2017 general election, with the Tories up by just over 1% and the smaller parties having a better night.

    In other developments:

    Jo Swinson - who only became Lib Dem leader in July and began the election campaign by saying she aimed to be prime minister - lost her Dunbartonshire East seat to the SNP by 149 votes

    Nigel Dodds, the leader of the Democratic Unionist Party at Westminster, lost his Belfast North seat to Sinn Fein

    The Lib Dems took Richmond Park, south-west London, from Conservative minister Zac Goldsmith

    Labour's Caroline Flint - who backed the Tory Brexit deal in defiance of her party - lost in Don Valley to Mr Johnson's party

    Labour's longest-serving MP Dennis Skinner also lost his seat to the Conservatives

    Remain-backing former Tory minister Dominic Grieve came second to the Conservative candidate in Beaconsfield

    Anna Soubry, who quit the Tories to form a pro-Remain group of MPs, lost her Nottinghamshire seat to the Tories

    It was also a bad night for new Lib Dem recruits, with ex-Labour MPs Chuka Umunna and Luciana Berger, and former Tory minister Sam Gyimah failing to win a seat

    The result so far is remarkable for the Conservatives - better than many of them had hoped for.

    They have won a majority which will allow Boris Johnson to make sure Brexit happens next month.

    There were some astonishing results, with a number of historic Labour heartlands falling to the Conservatives.

    Labour, by contrast, could hardly be in a worse position.

    Jeremy Corbyn has made it clear he will go before the next election - but he wants to stay for a period of reflection. Many in his party want him to go immediately.

    In Scotland, the picture is quite different.

    The SNP have come close to sweeping the board - gaining seats from all their rivals.A Tory majority at Westminster means one constitutional quarrel - Brexit - might be over, but another - on Scottish appendence - will be back with a vengeance.Scottish National Party leader and Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said it had been an "exceptional night" for her party.

    She said Scotland had sent a "very clear message" that it did not want a Boris Johnson Conservative government and the prime minister did not have a mandate to take Scotland out of the EU.It was also a "strong endorsement" for Scotland having a choice over its own future in an another independence referendum, she added.Labour looks set for one of its worst election results since World War Two.

    Some traditional Labour constituencies, such as Darlington, Sedgefield and Workington, in the north of England, will have a Conservative MP for the first time in decades - or in the case of Bishop Auckland and Blyth Valley - for the first time since the seat was created. Labour took Putney, in south-west London, from the Tories, in a rare bright spot for Jeremy Corbyn's party.

    John McDonnell: "I think most people thought the polls were narrowing “A row has already broken out at the top of the Labour Party, with some candidates blaming Jeremy Corbyn's unpopularity on the doorstep and others blaming the party's policy of holding another Brexit referendum. Leave-supporting Labour chairman Ian Lavery, who held his seat with a reduced majority, said he was "desperately disappointed", adding that voters in Labour's "heartlands" were "aggrieved" at the party's Brexit stance.Downing Street said earlier that if Mr Johnson was returned to Downing Street, there would be a minor cabinet reshuffle on Monday.

    The Withdrawal Agreement Bill, paving the way for Brexit on 31 January, would have its second Commons reading on Friday, 20 December.A major reshuffle would take place in February, after the UK has left the EU, No 10 added, with a Budget statement in March.

    WHO WON IN MY CONSTITUENCY? Results in full

    LAURA KUENSSBERG: Johnson's gamble pays off

    BREXIT: What happens now?

    ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW: The night's key points

    TEST YOURSELF: Richard Osman's election night quiz

    IN PICTURES: Binface, a baby and Boris Johnson

    This is the UK's third general election in less than five years - and the first one to take place in December in nearly 100 years.

    Labour's Stella Creasy was re-elected - and appeared at the count with her two-week-old daughter in sling Mr Johnson focused relentlessly on a single message, to "get Brexit done", while Labour primarily campaigned on a promise to end austerity by increasing spending on public services and the National Health Service.Nigel Farage said his Brexit Party had taken votes from Labour in Tory target seats, although he himself had spoiled his ballot paper "as I could not bring myself to vote Conservative".Jeremy Corbyn: 'I will not lead Labour at next election'

    Election 2019: Corbyn 'will not lead party in future campaign'Jeremy Corbyn has said he will not lead Labour into the next election, following a "very disappointing night" for his party.He said he would stay on as leader during a "process of reflection" on the result, which a BBC forecast says will be its worst since 1935.He added that the issue of Brexit had "polarised" politics and "overridden so much of normal political debate".But others within Labour blamed his leadership.

     Labour have lost a string of former strongholds in the north of England and Wales in areas that voted Leave in the 2016 EU referendum.A BBC forecast has put Labour on 203 seats - a predicted loss of 59 from the last general election in 2017.The Conservatives have already won an overall majority, with a handful of seats left to declare.

    Tories take Labour seats as they head for majorityLib Dem leader Jo Swinson loses seat

    Speaking after retaining his North Islington seat, Mr Corbyn said the party's manifesto policies had enjoyed "huge popular support", and criticised the "way the media behaved" towards his party during the campaign.But he added: "Brexit has so polarised and divided debate in this country, it has overridden so much of a normal political debate.""I recognise that has contributed to the results that the Labour Party has received this evening all across this country."

    Labour went into the campaign promising to renegotiate Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Brexit deal, and then put it to a referendum vote alongside the option of remaining in the EU.That strategy was criticised by party chairman Ian Lavery, who said it had led voters in traditional Labour seats to believe it was "a Remain party".

    "They believe they should have been listened to - and they think that the Labour party have totally reneged on the result," he added.But he added the strategy was not "Jeremy Corbyn's decision," as it had been approved by delegates at the party's September conference.Given the result, you might assume Jeremy Corbyn would swiftly fall on his sword - but he has instead called for a period of quiet reflection.Party rules make it difficult to oust him, but already senior figures are asking how long this period will last.

    Senior figures at Westminster and in local government feel delaying an inevitable leadership contest will lead to a similar result in May's council elections. Mr Corbyn seems intent on staying in place until someone from his wing of the party is ready to take over - but the defeat of shadow minister Laura Pidcock has eliminated one of the potential left-wing leadership challengers.Those who'd prefer shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer are keen that a new leader is in place soon to challenge Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Brexit policy.

    The battle to establish the reasons for the defeat has already begun.The narrative from the leadership that Brexit was to blame will be challenged robustly by those who want the party to change direction.Shadow chancellor John McDonnell, a key ally of Mr Corbyn, told the PA news agency the party's Brexit strategy was "principled" and had aimed to bring the country together, but it had failed.Earlier, he said he did not think the Labour leader had been "the big issue" of the campaign.

    But former Labour justice secretary Lord Falconer called for the party to move quickly to replace Mr Corbyn as leader by March or April.Gareth Snell, who lost his Leave-backing Stoke-on-Trent Central seat, called for both Mr Corbyn and Mr McDonnell to quit.He accused senior figures in the shadow cabinet who are defending Remain-voting seats in London of "sacrificing" candidates in marginal constituencies in the Midlands and the north of England.

    Another Labour MP to lose her seat, Caroline Flint in Don Valley, said: "So many of my voters could not and did not want to support Jeremy Corbyn to be prime minister."She added: "I'm afraid to say there are moderate MPs who have driven us into a dead-end regarding Brexit and they have put the pursuit of Remain at the expense of our working-class heartlands and I feel annoyed to say the least about that."

    Labour candidate Gareth Snell calls for Jeremy Corbyn to step downShadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer, speaking after retaining his Holborn and St Pancras seat, said: "As a whole movement, we need to reflect on this result and understand it together, but we also have a duty to rebuild, starting now."

    Yvette Cooper, who unsuccessfully challenged Mr Corbyn for her party's leadership in 2015, said the results showed Labour "have to change as a party".She said Brexit had played a "significant part" in her party's performance, but the election "was not just about Brexit"."It was about their perceptions of the party, their perceptions of the leadership," she added.Speaking after an earlier exit poll predicted heavy losses for Labour, former Labour home secretary Alan Johnson told ITV News that Mr Corbyn had been "incapable of leading" and "worse than useless at all the qualities you need to lead a political party."

     Tories claim big scalps in Wales

    Fay Jones, Virginia Crosbie and Sarah Atherton will represent the Conservatives in Westminster Wales' first three female Conservative MPs have been elected as the party claimed six key seats from Labour. Sarah Atherton's 2,131 majority win in Wrexham was followed by Virginia Crosbie taking Ynys Mon and Fay Jones winning Brecon and Radnorshire.The Tories also turned Bridgend, Vale of Clwyd, Clwyd South and Delyn from red to blue in other targeted seats.

    Labour remained the biggest party while Plaid Cymru held their four seats, but Liberal Democrats have been wiped out.It means Labour now has 22 seats in Wales with the six they lost taking the Tories' tally to 14, which is their best result since 1983.PM hails Brexit 'mandate' as Tories set for big win Speaking after her win, Ms Atherton, who is filling the seat vacated by Labour's Ian Lucas ahead of the election, said she was "delighted and privileged" to be announced the first Welsh female Conservative MP.

    "The people of Wrexham wanted Brexit done and delivered. I think that's why we have got a majority of 2,000 tonight," she said.

    The Tories also took Bridgend from Madeleine Moon with Jamie Wallis winning by 1,157 votes.

    Former Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns, who resigned from the cabinet at the start of the campaign following a row about what he knew about a former aide's involvement in the collapse of a rape trial, held on to his seat in the Vale of Glamorgan.

    Wales vote share

    After 40 of 40 seats

    Party     % share               

    LABLabour          40.9%

    CONConservative            36.1%

    PCPlaid Cymru   9.9%

    LDLiberal Democrat         6.0%

    BRXThe Brexit Party        5.4%

    GRNGreen          1.0%

    Wales vote share change since 2017

    After 40 of 40 seats

    Lost

    Gained

    BRX

    The Brexit Party+5.4Gained

    CON

    Conservative+2.5Gained

    LD

    Liberal Democrat+1.5Gained

    GRN

    Green+0.7Gained

    PC

    Plaid Cymru-0.5Lost

    LAB

    Labour-8.0Lost

    If you cannot see the graphic click here.

    Another former Welsh Secretary, David Jones, who was originally going to stand down in Clwyd West before changing his mind, also held on to his seat, while Monmouth, Preseli Pembrokeshire, Carmarthen West and Aberconwy remained blue, as did Montgomeryshire with new incumbent Craig Williams.

    The exit poll taken at 144 polling stations, with 22,790 interviews, has been adjusted to take actual results into account.

    The BBC forecast suggests the Tories will get 363 MPs, Labour 203, the SNP 49, the Lib Dems 12, Plaid Cymru four, the Greens one, and the Brexit Party none.

    Image caption

    Conservative supporters celebrate victories at the count in Builth Wells

    Despite its losses, Labour held on to the marginal constituencies of Gower, Alyn & Deeside, and Cardiff North - all of which were at risk to the Tories - the latter seeing Anna McMorrin increase her majority.

    It also held on narrowly to Newport West, while Llanelli, Neath, Rhondda, Ogmore, Pontypridd, Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Cardiff Central, Cardiff West, Cynon Valley, Islwyn, Merthyr and Rhymney, Torfaen, Cardiff South and Penarth, and its two Newport and two Swansea seats remained red.

    Plaid Cymru was forecast to take three seats, down one, but held on to all four - Carmarthen East, Ceredigion, Dwyfor Meirionnydd, and Arfon where Hywel Williams increased his slender majority of 92 to 2,781.

    The Liberal Democrats were left without a seat in Wales after Jane Dodds was ousted by the Conservative Ms Jones who won the Brecon and Radnorshire seat back for her party just four months after it was lost in a by-election.

    Ms Jones, who won by 7,131 votes, said she was "honoured" to be one of the first Welsh Tory women to be heading to Westminster.

    Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

    Image caption

    Labour's Anna McMorrin bucked the trend to increase her majority over the Conservatives in the marginal Cardiff North seat

    Paul Davies, the Conservative leader in the Welsh assembly, said: "After winning seats like Delyn and Clwyd South we now have the joint largest number of Welsh Conservative MPs in Parliament, to help ensure that a positive voice for Wales is heard loud and clear in Parliament.

    "We now need to refocus ahead of the Welsh Parliamentary elections in 2021 and ensure that this failing Welsh Labour government, who have been running our health service for the last 20 years, are held to account and the people of Wales get the services they deserve."

    His predecessor Andrew RT Davies said: "People across the country have stood up and told their politicians that democracy should be respected and have also emphatically rejected the hard-left socialist dogma of Jeremy Corbyn."

    He added: "We have a new piece of architecture in Wales, the blue wall in north Wales, and it's been built with full planning permission by the voters."

    Former Tory MP Glyn Davies said he was "absolutely astonished" by the party's performance in Wales.

    Following Labour's poor performance across the UK, Jeremy Corbyn has said he intends to step down as leader.

    Media caption"Delighted and privileged"

    First Minister Mark Drakeford said Labour was "having a very deeply disappointing evening across the UK and across here in Wales, but at the end of the evening I believe the Labour party will still have more than half the seats here in Wales".

    The Welsh Labour leader said he shared the responsibility for the result in Wales.

    He said the party had "struggled in some parts of Wales to get our message through" to people of the "dangers" of a five-year Boris Johnson government.

    Labour's Tonia Antoniazzi was cheered and heckled during her Gower acceptance speech when she said Brexit voters were "taken advantage of".

    She said the people of Gower had been "disastrously served by a political shambles that has served to bring the UK into disrepute".

    Image caption

    Plaid Cymru's Ben Lake celebrates with his supporters in Ceredigion after increasing his majority

    Chris Bryant who held on to his Labour Rhondda seat called it the "worst night for Labour since 1935".

    He said his party was now looking at "being out in the wilderness for even longer" unless there was "some serious soul-searching".

    Vaughan Gething, Welsh Labour health minister, said voters had seen both Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn as "marmite".

    "We did understand that traditional Labour voters, older Labour voters, had a real issue voting Labour in this election," he said.

    Stephen Doughty, who has held the Cardiff South and Penarth seat for seven years, tweeted: "I fear the future for our younger generation. I fear for the public institutions and integrity of our country. Dark times. Some of us must offer new hope amidst despair."

    Media captionChris Bryant said the night was a "catastrophe" for the Labour Party

    Analysis by Felicity Evans, BBC Wales Political Editor

    The political map of Wales has changed enormously. Aside from the single seat of Alyn & Deeside, Labour has been vanquished from north Wales.

    The Conservatives are celebrating a return to their high watermark of 1983 when they held 14 seats in Wales, Boris Johnson's Brexit message resonated among Welsh Labour leave voters.

    But many Welsh Labour sources say Jeremy Corbyn was a major factor in turning off the party's traditional supporters.

    They will also question the approach of their Welsh leader Mark Drakeford.

    Should he have done more to "Welshify" this election and distinguish Welsh Labour from the UK party? Was that even achievable given the dominance of the two characters of Mr Corbyn and Mr Johnson?

    The Liberal Democrats will rue the day they pushed for this election - their hubris has been mercilessly punished.

    And Plaid will breathe a big sigh of relief that they hung on to two ultra marginals, and were let off the hook by a split leave vote in Carmarthen East. Coming third in their target seat of Ynys Mon is a blow that leaves them at the status quo of four seats.

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