Exit polls are indicating that Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party will have a decisive majority in Britain’s third general election in six years that was seen as the most important vote in a generation despite ‘dirty’ campaigns.
The Conservatives have been forecast to win 368 seats – a majority of over 80 – with Labour suffering major losses and down to only 191 seats.
With those numbers, the Tories gain 51 seats, while Labour loses 71, a crushing defeat for Corbyn. The Scottish National Party (SNP) will win 55 seats (a gain of 20), while the Lib Dems will win 13 (a gain of 1), the exit polls predict.
The election has been described as the “dirtiest” ever in terms of shady campaign tactics. It has also been one in which some major national issues have faded into the background as the unresolved Brexit dilemma still hangs over the UK.
Some voters were even willing to switch political parties based on Brexit stance alone, causing significant worry to both camps.
“I cautioned for the last two years that Labour would be doomed if they turned their back on their traditional supporters, who supported Brexit strongly,” George Galloway, a former Labour MP, told RT.
The final polls in the run up to election day predicted a win for Johnson — and now the first exit polls seem to confirm they were correct.
The odds were stacked against Johnson when he took the helm at the height of the Brexit drama back in the summer, but he won admiration from Leavers by fulfilling a promise to renegotiate parts of Theresa May’s EU withdrawal agreement. If the exit polls are indeed correct and Johnson wins an outright majority, he would be able to push his deal through parliament and truly “get Brexit done” — fulfilling his campaign mantra.
It won’t all be smooth sailing for Johnson, however, as he will still be tasked with the challenge of negotiating a satisfactory EU-UK trade deal by December 31, 2020, which will be no easy feat. What’s more, controversies that plagued the last four months of his leadership — including recent scandals over the NHS — will no doubt spill over into his new government.
Reacting to the exit poll results, a Labour spokesperson said Thursday night that it was “too early” to call the result, but admitted that the party faced a “challenging” election and one in which Brexit was “at the forefront of many people’s minds.”
Indeed, it will be the early hours of Friday before it becomes clear if the exit polls match the final results, but they typically have been very accurate in UK elections.
Both parties worried that the cold, rainy weather would impact voter turnout in the first December general election in nearly 100 years, but social media was flooded with pictures of long queues at polling stations all over the country, portending a good turnout.