Conservatives win big in UK with largest majority in decades

PM Boris Johnson trounces Labour's Jeremy Corbyn, leads party to biggest win since 1992, gaining nearly 70 seats, paving way for 2020 Brexit

David Rosenberg , | updated: 8:43 AM

Boris Johnson following Thursday's election win
Boris Johnson following Thursday's election win

The Conservative Party defeated Labour in Thursday’s general election, winning the largest majority the Tories have seen in over 30 years.

In the popular vote count thus far, the Conservatives received 43.6% of the vote, giving them a more than eleven-point lead over Labour, which netted 32.2% of the vote, compared to 11.5% for the Liberal Democrats, 3.9% for the Scottish National Party, 2.7% for the Greens, 2% for the Brexit Party, 0.8% for the Democratic Unionist Party, 0.5% for Sinn Fein, 0.5% for the Welsh nationalist Plaid Cymru, and just 0.1% for the UK Independence Party.

With nearly all of the British Parliament’s 650 races called, the near-final results show the Conservatives with 364 seats, a net gain of 47 seats over the 2017 election, giving the party a 39-seat majority. That is the best electoral showing by the Conservatives since Margaret Thatcher's win in 1987, when the party netted 376 seats.

Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party, which has been dogged by accusations of anti-Semitism, lost 59 seats, falling to 203 seats, with one race still left to be called. Exit polls had shown the party falling even farther, projecting just 191 seats for Labour.

The election proved far more decisive than Britain’s previous snap election, held in 2017, when the Conservatives led by then-Prime Minister Theresa May, failed to win an absolute majority, receiving just 317 seats, nine short of a majority. Labour, made major gains in that election, rising to 262 seats.

The Scottish National Party, which had signaled it would try to block a Conservative-led minority government if the Tories failed to win an outright majority, gained 13 seats, winning a total of 48, while the Liberal Democrats lost nearly half their strength, losing 10 seats and winning a total of 11.

The Green Party held onto its sole seat, while the right-leaning Democratic Union Party – a Protestant faction in Northern Ireland – fell by two seats, to eight.

Sinn Fein, a far-left party also representing Northern Ireland, won seven seats, while the Welsh national party Plaid Cymru won four seats, and the Social Democratic and Labour Party won two.

The results of Thursday’s election ensure that not only will Johnson remain as prime minister, but that the Conservative leader, who campaigned hard on a quick Brexit from the European Union, will be able to implement that promise.

Johnson has vowed to take the UK out of the EU by the end of January – with or without a deal establishing new trade standards with the EU.

Labour, by comparison, had called for a second Brexit referendum, three years after the first referendum won majority support for leaving the EU.

President Trump, who expressed support for Johnson in the past, congratulated the British premier on his win with a tweet early Friday morning.

“Congratulations to Boris Johnson on his great WIN! Britain and the United States will now be free to strike a massive new Trade Deal after BREXIT. This deal has the potential to be far bigger and more lucrative than any deal that could be made with the E.U. Celebrate Boris!”

Following Labour’s resounding defeat in the election, party chairman and Leader of the Opposition Jeremy Corbyn announced that he would be stepping down as party chief.

Corbyn said it was a “very disappointing night for the Labour Party,” and said he would not lead Labour into the next election, but would not step down immediately.

Corbyn has faced ongoing accusations of anti-Semitism, both over his history of hostility towards Israel and support for anti-Israel terrorist groups, as well as the rise in anti-Jewish rhetoric within the party.

Following her party's poor showing - which included the loss of her own seat, Liberal Democrats party chairwoman Jo Swinson also announced she would be stepping down.