The UK woke up to the biggest Conservative victory since 1987, sealing the trajectory towards Brexit.
The latest data give the Conservatives 364 seats, Labour 203, the SNP 48, the Lib Dems 12, Plaid Cymru four, the Greens one.
On the back of a “get Brexit done” mandate the UK appears en route to leave the EU on January 31st, “no ifs, no buts” as prime minister Boris Johnson said. Once again, in this Brexit-intensive electoral encounter, there was not a single seat for the Brexit Party that only months ago triumphed in the European Elections.
The Labour Party suffered a historic defeat, losing seats held since the 1920s and 1930s in the North of England. “You may intend to return to Labour next time round, and if that is the case, I am humbled that you have put your trust in me,” Johnson said.
Jeremy Corbyn said he will not lead the party to the next elections, having lost 59 seats and leading the party to its worst performance since 1935. However, he vowed to stay on to lead the process of “reflection” on what went wrong. Corbyn supporters suggest that the electorate condemned Labour’s Brexit stance but not its socialist program. It is unclear whether the socialist leader will be allowed to define the causes of the defeat or play a role in his own succession.
The Scottish National Party achieved a triumph in Scotland, setting the country on a road to a second independence referendum. The Conservatives are unlikely to grand the SNP the chance to hold a legal referendum, but the new and stronger mandate is likely to further fire-up the drive for secession. The question now is whether first minister Nicola Sturgeon will choose to take Scotland towards a Catalan path of a standoff with London.
In Northern Ireland, the Democratic Unionist Party lost two seats, with voters punishing the party for helping to bring about a Brexit resolution that effectively brings the border of the UK to the Irish Sea. The question is now how close is the North of Ireland to a referendum on unification with the Republic, envisaged in the Good Friday Agreement, given the political deadlock that has kept the local assembly locked for three years.