After a third vote within the space of five years, Britain has returned a majority Conservative government and provided Boris Johnson with the mandate required to deliver his Brexit deal.
The prime minister vowed to unite the country, spread opportunity and “get Brexit done” after his snap election gamble paid off. With one constituency left to declare, the Tories stand poised to secure a majority of 78.
In contrast, it was a night of humiliation and defeat for Labour, losing a series of stronghold seats across the country. After the party’s share of MPs dropped from 243 to an estimated 203, leader Jeremy Corbyn announced that he would lead Labour through a “process of reflection” before standing down ahead of the next election.
With Labour lurching left and the Tories seemingly wooing the Eurosceptic right, the map below highlights the changing voting habits among the electorate while showing the results of every single UK constituency.
The fall of the ‘red wall’
When contrasted with the 2017 election, this year’s vote demonstrates a clear swing among traditional Labour seats across the north and central regions of the UK – the so-called ‘red wall’ – to the Conservatives.
The results means Mr Corbyn’s party, which had 243 MPs when Parliament was dissolved last month, is headed for its worst result since 1935.
Among the long-held Labour seats to be taken by the Tories were:
- Rother Valley (a Labour seat since 1918)
- Don Valley (a Labour seat since 1922)
- Wakefield (a Labour seat since 1932)
- Bassetlaw (a Labour seat since 1935)
- Bishop Auckland (a Labour seat since 1935)
- Sedgefield (a Labour seat since 1935)
- Great Grimsby (a Labour seat since 1945)
Even veteran left-winger Dennis Skinner, who had been set to become the Father of the House, lost his seat of Bolsover, a former mining stronghold which had been Labour since its creation in 1950.
Labour has gained just one seat across the UK (Putney).
‘Historic’ success for the Conservatives
The election has been heralded as “historic” for the Tories, with the party securing their largest majority since 1987.
The prime minister is on course to finish with more than 43 per cent of the popular vote, the highest for a Tory leader since Margaret Thatcher’s victory in 1979 and around the same as Tony Blair’s in 1997.
The Conservatives’ unwavering commitment to ‘getting Brexit done’, a ‘safety-first’ manifesto and the Brexit Party’s retreat have all been credited with the Tories’ ascension to power. The Independent’s political columnist Andrew Grice takes a closer look at the factors behind the party’s success, as well as Labour’s shortcomings – read his analysis here.
There was success for the Scottish National Party too, making strong gains across Scotland. Their increased parliamentary presence could prove troublesome for Mr Johnson in the coming weeks and months, with a strong opposition to Brexit among the country’s voters.
And not all the biggest scalps of the night were Labour’s. DUP Westminster leader Nigel Dodds – whose party propped up Theresa May’s administration – lost his Belfast North seat to Sinn Fein.
Tory former minister Zac Goldsmith fell to the Lib Dems in Richmond Park while Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson also lost her seat to the SNP and quit as party leader. Sir Ed Davey and Baroness Sal Brinton will become joint acting leaders ahead of a leadership contest next year.
But Labour’s drubbing by the Tories was no doubt the story of the night and leaves the party questioning what comes next.
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