UK general election 2019: Boris Johnson says ‘let the healing begin’ in statement outside No 10 – live news | Politics | The Guardian13 Dicembre 2019
Updates and reaction as Conservatives seal historic victory and Boris Johnson says Brexit is now the ‘unarguable decision of the British people’
- Full election results
- Johnson leads Tories to historic win
- Five reasons why Labour lost
- Guardian panel: our writers on what the results mean
- Boris Johnson has won a resounding, 80-seat majority for the Conservatives, smashing the Labour party, confounding expectations and giving himself for the first time the opportunity to push a legislative programme through parliament. His majority is bigger than David Cameron’s for his coalition government, bigger than Tony Blair’s in his third term and the largest for any Conservative prime minister since Margaret Thatcher. At times during the election Johnson talked about a 10-year agenda for government, and his victory is substantial enough to mean that a decade-long Johnson premiership must now by a possibility. But he remains a deeply divisive figure, his predecessor Theresa May reportedly believes he is “morally unfit” to be PM, and he has reinvented his politics so often in his career that Britons don’t really know at all whether they’ve elected Britain’s Trump, as the US president sees him, or a pro-Brexit version of Michael Heseltine, as Johnson’s allies depict him. Perhaps he doesn’t even know himself.
- Johnson has claimed, with some accuracy, to have redrawn the electoral map of Britain, and he has promised to govern as a one nation party. Just as Ronald Reagan recast US politics by discovering “Reagan Democrats” (previous blue-collar Democrat voters who were attracted by Reagan’s demeanour and social conservatism), Johnson won his majority by taking seats that had been Labour for decades. He has promised to govern in the interests of these new voters. Whether he will or not remains to be seen. And what is also not clear is whether the composition of the parliamentary Conservative party has changed to push the party in this direction. Johnson has given two short speeches today (see here and here), but he has postponed what is expected to be a limited reshuffle until next week.
- The Conservative election victory has killed off any lingering prospect of Brexit being reversed, and the UK is now all but certain to leave the EU on 31 January. Johnson said this morning.
With this mandate and this majority we will at last be able to [get Brexit done] because this election means that getting Brexit done is now the irrefutable, irresistible, unarguable decision of the British people.
And with this election I think we’ve put an end to all those miserable threats of a second referendum.
The People’s Vote campaign has effectively surrendered. In a statement on its behalf, Open Europe, one of the group’s behind the campaign (it recently split), said:
The People’s Vote will now refocus its campaign to concentrate on vital social issues that this government must urgently prioritise in its Brexit negotiations.
- EU leaders have restated their call for the UK to remain aligned to EU standards if it wants a comprehensive trade deal to be negotiated next year. Johnson does want to conclude the trade talks next year, because his manifesto said he would not extend the transition beyond December 2020. But he has also said he wants the UK to be able to diverge from EU standards. This is set to be perhaps the dominant political issue of 2020, and the scale of the challenge Johnson faces suggests that his promise to have got Brexit “done” by 31 January (his central campaign promise) could soon look like a hollow joke. As usual with Johnson, it is impossible to predict what he will do, and there has been some speculation that he will end up betraying his hardline Brexiter supporters in the Tory European Research Group.
- Jeremy Corbyn has accepted that his unlikely but transformational four-year leadership of the Labour party must come to an end, having led the party into its worst defeat (in terms of seats won) in more than 80 years. He suggested today that he would step down early in the new year. What is not clear, though, is whether “Corbynism” will survive him. “On some things he was a generation ahead of his time, but he couldn’t lead, and that’s what voters want, even it means being lied to.” That is from the American journalist George Packer. Packer was writing about Jimmy Carter (in his book Our Man), but it serves equally well as a charitable assessment of Corbyn.
- None of the potential contenders for the Labour leadership has declared, but the party has already begun an intense and acrimonious inquest into the reasons for its defeat. Corbyn’s supporters are blaming Brexit, while his many critics in the party are saying it was his leadership that was fatal to the party’s chances. Others point out (rightly) that the party’s problems in some areas predated both Brexit and Corbyn.
- Jo Swinson has apologised to the Liberal Democrats for a dismal election in which she lost her seat and the party slipped to 11 MPs, but said she did not regret fighting on a defiantly pro-remain platform. Having lost her seat, she had to stand down as party leader. One of the ironies of today is that the election would never have happened if it had not been for the Lib Dems calling for one, and Corbyn subsequently agreeing. (When the Lib Dems and the SNP both openly called for an early election, it became much harder for Labour to resist,) Without their backing, Johnson would not have been able to legislate to make it happen.
- Nicola Sturgeon has said she will publish a blueprint for staging a second Scottish independence referendum next week after challenging Johnson to pass on the legal powers to stage one. The SNP won 48 of the 59 seats in Scotland (up 13) and, with Scotland now facing possibly 10 years of rule from Johnson, pressure for independence may well intensify.
- The Conservatives have had their best result in Wales since the heyday of Margaret Thatcher, even winning in once rock-solid Labour seats such as Wrexham, which has never before returned a Tory MP.
- Pressure is growing on the Democratic Unionist party (DUP) and Sinn Fein to swiftly restore power-sharing after voters punished both parties for Northern Ireland’s political dysfunction.
- A record 220 female MPs will take their seats in parliament after this election, but the House of Commons will still fall far short of being gender balanced. For the first time one of the main parties, Labour, will have more female MPs than male MPs.
That’s all from us for tonight.
Thanks for the comments.
Yesterday’s general election may have changed the political landscape, but the educational profile of the House of Commons is relatively unchanged, research from the Sutton Trust reveals today: 29% of MPs are independently educated, compared to 7% of the British population. This is the same as after the 2017 general election. Over half (54%) of the new House of Commons went to a comprehensive school, up slightly from 52% following the 2017 election.
The research suggests the educational backgrounds of members of the Commons is widening, albeit slowly. Of 155 newly elected MPs, 62% were educated at comprehensive schools, while a further 22% went to independent schools and 14% were educated at grammar schools.
Of the major parties, comprehensive schools were attended by 41% of Conservative MPs and 70% of Labour MP; 16% of all MPs attended a grammar school, in comparison to 17% of the MPs elected in 2017.
Of the 173 MPs who went to independent schools, 11 went to Eton, including Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg.
Oxford and Cambridge universities have educated 21% of MPs, while a further 33% attended another Russell Group university. In recent years we have seen a growing number of MPs from a group of non-Russell Group universities such as Hull, Brunel, Sussex and Aberdeen, with 10, 8, 7 and 5 MPs respectively.
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