Johnson wins huge election victory and 'stonking mandate' for Brexit

Johnson wins huge election victory and 'stonking mandate' for Brexit
By: WNG SKY Posted On: December 12, 2019 View: 31

Johnson wins huge election victory and 'stonking mandate' for Brexit

Boris Johnson has won a huge victory in the general election, tearing seats from Labour in its heartlands.

The Conservatives clinched their majority after winning 326 seats - their majority is now on course to be between 78 and 82.

Mr Johnson told staffers at the Tory party's HQ that "no one can now refute" his "stonking mandate" to deliver Brexit.

Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds arrive at the Conservative Party's headquarters
Image: Boris Johnson and his partner Carrie Symonds arrive at the Conservative Party's headquarters

Speaking at the private gathering in the early hours, he said: "We must understand now what an earthquake we have created... the way in which we have changed the political map in this country.

"We have to grapple with the consequences of that. We have to change our own party. We have to rise to the level of events."

In a recording obtained by Buzzfeed, he added: "We have to rise to the challenge that the British people have given us."

Key points:

After a crushing night for Labour, Jeremy Corbyn announced he would not lead his party in any future general election campaign.

But he suggested he would not be departing as Labour leader immediately.

"I will discuss with our party to ensure there is a process now of reflection on this result and on the policies that the party will take going forward," Mr Corbyn added.

"And I will lead the party during that period to ensure that discussion takes place and we move on into the future."

Sky News projects the Conservatives will end the morning with between 363 and 369 seats, vindicating the prime minister's decision to push for the first December election since 1923.

It also puts the UK on course to leave the EU on 31 January, after Mr Johnson campaigned on his promise to "get Brexit done".

The SNP is forecast to win as many as 55 seats, with leader Nicola Sturgeon saying: "The people of Scotland have made very clear that they don't want Boris Johnson as prime minister, that they don't want Brexit, and they want Scotland's future to be in Scotland's hands."

Boris Johnson leaves the Conservative Party's headquarters
Image: Boris Johnson is on course for a majority of between 78 and 82

Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson lost her East Dunbartonshire seat to the SNP, with her party expected to make few gains from their 2017 general election result, having started the campaign with high expectations.

Labour's much-vaunted "red wall" of safe seats across the Midlands and the north appears to have crumbled in the face of the Tories' pro-Leave position.

Blyth Valley in Northumberland, Workington in Cumbria and Wrexham in Wales were all among former Labour strongholds to fall to the Conservatives.

Despite being held by Labour since 1950, Blyth Valley turned blue thanks to a 10% swing.

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 12: Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party, visits the vote count in his Islington North constituency on December 12, 2019 in London, England. Corbyn, who has held the Islington North seat since 1983, is expected to step down as leader if his party is dealt a decisive defeat by the Conservatives, led by Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The Prime Minister called the first UK winter election for nearly a century in an attempt to gain a working majority to break the parli
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn says he won't fight another general election.

And Workington, which had taken on symbolic status as a Conservative target seat in the election campaign, was won by the Tories with a similar swing.

The constituency had previously been held by Labour for 97 years out of 100 since its creation.

Sedgefield, the former constituency of ex-prime minister Tony Blair, was also won from Labour by the Tories.

Echoing the lyrics of Labour's campaign song from their 1997 landslide win under Mr Blair, the Conservative Party's Twitter account posted after the result was announced: "Things can only get better."

There were suggestions the Tories could have enjoyed even greater success in some areas, if it were not for the presence of the Brexit Party.

However, despite their success in gaining Labour-held seats, the Tories appeared to have struggled in Remain-supporting areas.

Putney, the London seat won in 2017 by former Conservative minister Justine Greening, was taken by Labour with a 6% swing.

And the Liberal Democrats won St Albans from the Conservatives with a 10% swing.

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Defeated Labour candidate: 'We are the racist party'

After losing a string of seats to the Tories, Mr Corbyn's close allies calling for an inquest into the party's election result.

Richard Burgon, Labour's shadow justice secretary, told Sky News: "We need a sober, serious analysis over the next 24 hours or so."

His fellow Labour frontbencher Dawn Butler, Labour's shadow women and equalities secretary, said: "We really have to reflect quite seriously about where we go and the direction of travel for the Labour Party."

And Ken Livingstone, the former London mayor and ex-Labour MP, admitted Mr Corbyn was likely to go.

"It looks like the end for Jeremy, which is disappointing for me since I'm a close ally. I'm sure he'll have to resign tomorrow," he said.

Labour's Ruth Smeeth, who predicted she was about to lose her Stoke-on-Trent seat where she was standing for re-election, told Sky News that Mr Corbyn "should announce he's resigning as leader of the Labour Party from his count today.

"He should have gone many, many, many months ago."

Ms Smeeth, a former parliamentary chair of the Jewish Labour Movement, added: "Jeremy Corbyn's actions on antisemitism have made us the nasty party.

"We are the racist party."

But Momentum - the left-wing group that grew out of Mr Corbyn's two successful Labour leadership campaigns - vowed to "keep the Labour Party socialist" in the face of the election result.

Laura Parker, Momentum's national coordinator, said: "It's unquestionable that Labour's policies are popular.

"Every poll shows it, and there is absolutely no appetite to go back to the centrist policies of old.

"But in this election we were squeezed by Brexit and it was the defining issue.

"Against that storm we built a huge movement of thousands of ordinary people and they won't stop until we see real change in this country."

One of those touted as a possible successor to Mr Corbyn, shadow minister Laura Pidcock, lost her Durham North West seat to the Tories.

The Brexit Election on Sky News - the fastest results and in-depth analysis on mobile, TV and radio.

  • ·Watch John Bercow with Dermot Murnaghan live through the night
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