U.K. Election Updates: In Victory, Johnson Promises Brexit and More


With all however one district declared on Friday morning, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservatives had gained 364 seats — 47 greater than they gained within the final election, in 2017.

The victory is the get together’s largest since Margaret Thatcher captured a 3rd time period in 1987 — “literally before many of you were born,” Mr. Johnson instructed supporters Friday morning. It provides him a snug majority within the 650-seat House of Commons.

“We did it,” he mentioned. “We smashed it, didn’t we?”

Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party needed to attain even farther again to discover a extra excessive end result. It gained 203 seats, down 59 from the earlier vote, in its worst exhibiting since 1935. It had not suffered an identical drubbing since 1983, when it took 209 seats.

The Scottish National Party captured 48 of Scotland’s 59 seats, a achieve of 13. The Liberal Democrats, who have been hoping to experience an anti-Brexit stance again to prominence, gained simply 11 seats, one fewer than in 2017.

The Conservatives collected 43.6 p.c of the favored vote, to 32.2 p.c for Labour. That 11.three share level margin was additionally the biggest for the Tories since 1987 — a dramatic shift from 2017, when Labour misplaced the favored vote by simply 2.four p.c.

Speaking to his constituents in Uxbridge early Friday morning, Prime Minister Boris Johnson mentioned that the election outcomes appeared to have given his authorities “a powerful new mandate to get Brexit done.”

Later in the morning, he told supporters, “we put an end to all those miserable threats of a second referendum” that might have reversed the results of the 2016 vote on Brexit.

“Let’s spread opportunity to every corner of the U.K.”

Speaking in his constituency of Islington in London, the Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said that he would step down before the next general election, but would stay at the party’s helm for now, as it reflects on how to move forward from its dismal showing.

Mr. Corbyn is already under intense pressure to resign. His has been accused of poor leadership and of failing to handle accusations of anti-Semitism in the party ranks.

“I will not lead the party in any future general election campaign,” he said. “I will discuss with our party to ensure there is a process now of reflection on this result and on the policies that the party will take going forward and I will lead the party during that period to ensure that discussion takes place and we move on into the future.”

It was not clear how long Mr. Corbyn meant to stay on as party leader. The next election could be as long as five years away.

Some members of the Labour Party were quick to criticize him on Thursday night.

“The Labour Party has huge, huge questions to answer,” Ruth Smeeth, a former lawmaker, told Sky News. She immediately laid blame on Mr. Corbyn.

“Jeremy Corbyn should announce that he’s resigning as the leader of the Labour Party from his count today,” she said. “He should have gone many, many, many months ago.”

The pound jumped in value on Thursday night and remained high on Friday, buoyed by the receding prospect of a chaotic exit from the European Union without a divorce agreement. At midmorning, it stood at about $1.34, up from about $1.32 a day earlier.

Equity markets were similarly been lifted by the broad Conservative victory, with the FTSE 250 up more than 4 percent. The FTSE 100, which includes companies that rely more heavily on overseas earnings that would be dampened by a stronger pound, rose less sharply.

If the Conservatives manage to pass the withdrawal agreement bill as planned, the gains are likely to hold up through the end of the year, said Peter Dixon, an economist at Commerzbank. Easing global trade tensions should support markets too, after the United States and China, which have been locked in a trade war, settled on a partial deal.

Prospects look more uncertain for the new year.

The current deadline gives the British government has just 11 months to negotiate a complex deal on its long-term trading relationship with the European Union. The two sides may struggle to meet the Dec. 31, 2020 deadline, once again raising the prospect of a damaging “no-deal” Brexit.

“If negotiators get stuck or bogged down or become more fractious, there’s a prospect of more volatility in the currency,” Mr. Dixon said. “The risk of an accidental no-deal Brexit might keep the market on their toes.”

In the longer term, bond yields could also start to edge up if the Scottish secessionist movement gains momentum now that the Scottish National Party has won most of the seats in Scotland.

“The one thing which certain investors, maybe bond market investors, will look at again is the integrity of the U.K. following the strong Scottish result for the S.N.P.,” Mr. Dixon added.

European leaders on Friday welcomed the clarity of the British election result, which came during the last day of their summit meeting in Brussels, in hopes that it would make way for resolution of the Brexit deal.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson now has the majority needed to ratify his withdrawal agreement with Brussels by the Jan. 31 deadline laid out by Europe.

Charles Michel, president of the European Council, congratulated Mr. Johnson on Twitter and said that he expected British Parliament to vote on the deal “as soon as possible.”

But that will only start the clock on new negotiations about Britain’s future trading and security relationship with the bloc. Mr. Johnson has said that will be quick and easy, but few experts agree. It can be quick, Brussels argues, only if Britain agrees to keep its regulations and tariffs the very close to those of the European Union.

European leaders remain unsure whether Mr. Johnson, with a resounding mandate, will stick to his campaign pledge to finish any trade negotiation with the European Union by the end of 2020, or choose next summer to seek a year’s delay for longer talks. So long as they are negotiating, Britain is in a “transition” period, and its relationship with the European Union is essentially unchanged, even if it will be legally out of the bloc.

Xavier Bettel, Luxembourg’s prime minister, said he hoped that Mr. Johnson would deliver on his campaign promises, as “people need to have clarity.”

“I hope that with yesterday’s results, they do,” he said. “The excuse that there is no clear majority in London doesn’t last anymore.”

But talks on the future relationship between Britain and the European Union are “not going to be simple,’’ he said.

The Scottish National Party’s success — it won 48 of the 59 seats that it contested — will intensify the debate over independence for Scotland, which voted against Brexit and has largely rejected Britain’s major parties.

In a 2014 referendum, 45 percent of the voters in Scotland backed independence, and as Brexit approaches, the Scottish National Party, which backs independence, has insisted on a second referendum.

Mr. Johnson has said a national government under him would not hold a Scottish independence vote, but the Scottish government has suggested that it might go ahead with one. And on Friday morning, hours after the result of the vote was clear, Nicola Sturgeon, leader of the Scottish National Party and the first minister of Scotland, said it planned to do just that.

That raises the prospect of the kind of disarray and animosity plaguing Spain, where the government of Catalonia held an independence referendum two years ago that the central government said was illegal.

“It is clear beyond any doubt that the kind of future desired by the majority in Scotland is very different to that chosen by much of the rest of the U.K.,” Ms. Sturgeon told reporters during a news briefing.

“Scotland has rejected Boris Johnson and the Tories and yet again we have said no to Brexit,” Ms. Sturgeon said. She said within one week, the Scottish government would publish their plan for holding a new referendum.

“I accept, regretfully, that he has a mandate for Brexit in England,” she said. “But he has no mandate whatsoever to take Scotland out of the European Union.”

Ms. Sturgeon was clear that the decision on Scottish independence should be left up to the Scottish people, not the prime minister, to decide,

“The people of Scotland have spoken, it is time now to decide our own future,” she said.

On Friday morning, voters in and around the heavily pro-Labour north London constituency represented by Jeremy Corbyn, the party’s leader, woke up dismayed by its losses nationally.

“He failed to lead a proper campaign,” said Sarah Rose, a 43-year-old sociologist, said of Mr. Corbyn as she walked her dogs in Clissold Park. “He failed to tackle accusations of anti-Semitism, and he failed to have a sensible position on Brexit. It’s devastating.”

As expected, Mr. Corbyn won a landslide re-election in this Labour stronghold, but many people said they had doubts about continuing to support him. And as commuters headed to work in a cold drizzle, Labour sympathizers said the party needed to think long and hard about the outcome.

“Nobody here was thinking that Labour would have a majority, and it’s now clear that nobody wants a future with Corbyn,” said Tom Findlay, a 46-year-old music producer and psychotherapist.

He said he went to bed after the first exit polls on Thursday night confirmed a sweeping defeat for Labour. After he woke up early on Friday, his disappointment deepened when he heard that Mr. Corbyn would cling, for now, to his leadership position.

Mr. Corbyn told supporters he would not lead the party into another election, but that he would still oversee a “process of reflection.” He didn’t specify when he would step down.

“It’s typical of his arrogance: he is planning to stay a little bit longer while it’s so clear that he has been rejected,” Mr. Findlay said.

But he tried to see a silver lining. Many people in his part of London were devastated, he said, adding, “it’s going to be good for my therapy business, unfortunately.”

And while the decisive victory paves the way for the next step in the Brexit process, one thing is clear: the postwar push toward greater global economic integration is at an end. The British election verdict is not the only sign.

In the United States, President Trump’s political base has rallied to his trade war against China. Popular movements across Europe have embraced nationalist and nativist causes that promise to halt globalization.

The traditional arbiter of trade disputes, the World Trade Organization, is listing toward irrelevance.

“The era of freewheeling markets and liberalism is ending,” said Meredith Crowley, an international trade expert at the University of Cambridge in England.

Britain will have a record number of female members of Parliament after Thursday’s vote, when women won at least 220 of the 650 seats, according to the Press Association.



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