UK prime minister Boris Johnson, secured a crushing victory in the December 12 UK general election as voters backed his promise to “get Brexit done” and take the country out of the European Union by the beginning of 2020. The Conservative Party captured 364 of the 650 seats in the House of Commons, a comfortable majority of 80 seats and the party’s best showing in a parliamentary election since 1987. Prime Minister Boris Johnson will now move swiftly to ratify the Brexit deal he sealed with the European Union, allowing the UK to exit the bloc, more than 40 years after it originally joined, at the end of next month, nearly a year later than initially planned and three-and-a-half years after UK voters held a referendum on the issue. Prime Minister Boris Johnson must now negotiate a multi-part deal governing the UK’s future relationship with the world’s largest trading bloc, a process most experts think could take years, but he has promised can be completed during an 11-month transition period due to end in December 2020.
The Labor Party, whose leader, the veteran socialist Jeremy Corbyn, had presented voters a manifesto offering a second Brexit referendum and a radical expansion of the state, was plunged into bitter recriminations after the party won just 203 seats, its worst result since 1935. Labour lost seats it had held for long decades in former industrial areas in the Midlands and north of the country England as voters who had overwhelmingly backed Brexit in the June 2016 referendum swung towards the Conservatives. His critics blamed the party’s losses on Corbyn’s ambiguity over Brexit and said voters had expressed antipathy to him during the campaign. Corbyn, who was elected leader in 2015, has alienated moderates by shifting the party firmly away from the center that brought Labour three successive election victories under Tony Blair.
As well as promising to “get Brexit done”, Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged to increase spending on health, education and the police and was handed a boost early in the campaign when arch-Eurosceptic Nigel Farage said his Brexit party, which failed to win any seats, would not compete in hundreds of seats to avoid splitting the pro-Brexit vote. His thumping majority should now allow him to ignore the threat of rebellion by Eurosceptics in his own party, possibly opening up the prospect of a softening in the hardline approach he has so far adopted towards Brexit.