London: Boris Johnson is set to be re-elected as British prime minister with a landslide majority in the country’s general elections, an exit poll suggested on Friday, a victory that will end the uncertainty over Brexit and will help him to take the UK out of the European Union by the end of next month.
Johnson’s Conservative Party took a string of former Labour strongholds, according to the BBC/ITV/Sky exit poll
Labour have lost seats in the north of England and Wales in areas that voted Leave in the 2016 EU referendum.
The results of the exit poll suggest a Tory majority of 86 as being broadly accurate, although most seats have yet to declare. Opposition Labour Party are on course to lose 71 seats, the exit poll suggests.
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It would be the biggest Conservative victory since 1987, the poll suggests.
Reacting to the exit polls, Johnson thanked the Conservative Party’s voters, candidates and volunteers.
“We live in the greatest democracy in the world,” he tweeted.
The first sign of what the results held in store came with a definitive exit poll released at the close of voting at 2200 GMT on Thursday.
The forecast not only pegged the Tories way past the 326-mark required for the all-important majority in the 650-member House of Commons, but also meant Johnson’s so-called divorce agreement struck with the European Union (EU) to take the UK out of the 28-member economic bloc set to be turbo-charged to go full speed ahead.
This has been a hard-fought election in a very cold time of the year because we needed a functioning Conservative majority, said Priti Patel, the senior-most Indian-origin minister in Johnson’s last Cabinet, in response to the exit poll.
We are committed to deliver on priorities and getting Brexit done is a priority. The deal is there, we want to move forward, she said.
The Opposition Labour Party, which looked set for one of its worst performances since 1935 as the so-called red wall of the party’s heartlands towards the north of England looked set for significant knockdowns, conceded that voters seemed to have voted strongly on the basis of Brexit.
Brexit has dominated this election. If the results are anywhere near the exit polls, this is an extremely disappointing result, admitted Labour’s shadow chancellor John McDonnell.
Polling stations across all constituencies of the United Kingdom England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland where a total of 3,322 candidates were standing began the count right after the polls closed, with the final tally expected to begin taking shape in the early hours of Friday.
The snap election had been called by Johnson in a bid to win a majority for his Conservative Party and break the Commons deadlock over Brexit.
It resulted in the UK’s first December General Election in nearly a century and saw voters brave a cold and blustery winter’s day to queue outside polling stations to cast their vote in what had been pegged as the most important election in a generation.
This also marked the UK’s third General Election in less than five years and the second since the UK voted to leave the EU in the June 2016 referendum.
Johnson, who had taken over from Theresa May earlier this year with a pledge to meet the October 31 Brexit deadline, was constantly frustrated with a lack of majority in the Commons.
During the course of the campaign, he focused relentlessly on the “Get Brexit Done” message, promising to take the UK out of the EU by the new 31 January 2020 deadline if he was handed the mandate from the electorate.