Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party has won a thumping majority of seats in Britain’s Parliament — a decisive outcome to a Brexit-dominated election that should allow Johnson to fulfill his plan to take the U.K. out of the European Union next month.
With 648 of the 650 results declared on Friday, the Conservatives had 363 seats and the main opposition Labour Party 203.
“We did it — we pulled it off, didn’t we?″ a jubilant Johnson told supporters. “We broke the gridlock, we ended the deadlock, we smashed the roadblock!”
The victory makes Johnson the most electorally successful Conservative leader since Margaret Thatcher, another politician who was loved and loathed in almost equal measure. It was a disaster for left-wing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who faced calls for his resignation even as the results rolled in.
U.S. President Donald Trump congratulated Johnson on Twitter, and said that “Britain and the United States will now be free to strike a massive new trade deal after Brexit.”
Corbyn called the result “very disappointing” for his party and said he would not lead Labour into another election, though he resisted calls to quit immediately.
Results poured in early Friday showing a substantial shift in support to the Conservatives from Labour. In the last election in 2017, the Conservatives won 318 seats and Labour 262.
The result this time delivered the biggest Tory majority since Thatcher’s 1980s heyday, and Labour’s lowest number of seats since 1935.
The Scottish National Party won almost 50 of Scotland’s 59 seats, up from 35 in 2017, a result that will embolden its demands for a new referendum on Scottish independence.
The centrist, pro-EU Liberal Democrats took only about a dozen seats. Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson stepped down after losing in her own Scottish constituency.
The Conservatives took a swath of seats in post-industrial northern England towns that were long Labour strongholds. Labour’s vote held up better in London, where the party managed to grab the Putney seat from the Conservatives.
The decisive Conservative showing vindicates Johnson’s decision to press for Thursday’s early election, which was held nearly two years ahead of schedule. He said that if the Conservatives won a majority, he would get Parliament to ratify his Brexit divorce deal and take the U.K. out of the EU by the current Jan. 31 deadline.
Jeremy Corbyn of the UK Labour Party has a long track-record of being an anti-Semite, and the UK Jewish community was concerned with the elections. In light of that, UK Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis spoke out against Corbyn. Rabbi Mirvis said that “the overwhelming majority of British Jews are gripped by anxiety”, and warned against voting for the Labour Party.
Corbyn was then given a chance to apologize to the Jewish community in an interview on the BBC on Tuesday. Corbyn refused to apologize to the Jewish community SIX TIMES during that interview.
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