Boris Johnson claims ‘powerful new mandate’ for Brexit

  • Dec. 13, 2019 8:30 a.m.

LONDON — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says it looks like his Conservative Party has won “a powerful new mandate to get Brexit done” in the country’s general election. He says the work of delivering Brexit will begin as soon as all the results are in.

Johnson called the election “historic” as he was announced the winner of his Uxbridge constituency in suburban London.

Johnson’s Conservative Party appeared on course Friday to win a solid majority of seats in Britain’s Parliament— a decisive outcome to a Brexit-dominated election that should allow Johnson to fulfil his plan to take the U.K. out of the European Union next month.

It would also make Johnson the most electorally successful Conservative leader since Margaret Thatcher, another politician who was loved and loathed in almost equal measure. It would be a disaster for left-wing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who faced calls for his resignation even as the results rolled in.

Early results showed a substantial shift in support to the Conservatives from Labour, after an exit poll predictedthe Conservatives would get 368 of the 650 House of Commons seats to Labour’s 191. In the last election in 2017, the Conservatives won 318 seats and Labour 262.

It would be the biggest Tory majority since Thatcher’s 1980s’ heyday, and Labour’s lowest number of seats since 1935.

The exit poll, regarded as a reliable though not exact indicator of the likely result, also projected 55 seats for the Scottish National Party and 13 for the Liberal Democrats.

As ballot papers were counted early Friday, the Conservatives took a swathe 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.

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