Conservatives Take Big Majority in U.K. Election

With voting just ended, the tentative exit polls conducted for The Daily Telegraph of London predict a landslide victory for Boris Johnson and his party

With the polls closing at 5 p.m. ET and 10 p.m. in the U.K., the British Conservative Party appears to have won a smashing victory after a bold election gamble a mere five months after coming to power.

British Prime Boris Johnson and the Conservatives will govern Britain with 368 elected members of parliamentary seats and a majority of 86, according to tentative exit polls conducted for The Daily Telegraph of London.

That huge victory over extremist-Left Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn and Liberal Democrat Leader Jo Swinson will make the passage of the current Brexit deal negotiated by Johnson that much more likely.

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Labour, the main opposition, scored 191 elected seats.

A different exit poll — the joint Sky/BBC/ITV poll — also puts the Tories at 368 seats with Labour at 191, the Scottish National Party at 55, and the Liberal Dems at 13; the Tory majority is also projected to be 86. Ipsos Mori conducted this poll.

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If all of these numbers hold up, this is a massive victory for Boris Johnson.

Even if he loses up to 20 or 30 seats in a further count, it still is a strong win that will allow him to govern with a clear mandate.

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This is the best showing for the Conservatives, aka the Tories, since the 1987 victory of legendary Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. (The Conservatives lost their majority under Theresa May’s leadership in the 2017 election.)

The Labour Party sat on the fence and generally ran on a platform that backed yet another referendum on Brexit.

The Liberal Democrats ran on a total opposition to Brexit and a canceling of the verdict of the voters’ will, as expressed by 52 to 48 percent in 2016.

The prime minister, who has an eccentric reputation with the British electorate that has translated in the past into solid support even from voters of other parties, can now govern free from the pressure he has faced since his ascension to power in July.

Soon after the Conservative party chose him as their new leader, party defections and his own cleaning house of Brexit opponents inside the Conservative government reduced his majority to single digits and then lost him the majority altogether.

In the British parliamentary system, the party that leads the government is the one that has the most members in the House of Commons. Their House of Commons is akin to our House of Representatives.

Individual members run in their own constituencies by party. Thus there is no national election for a leader as in the U.S. presidential election. A prime minister can also be chosen, as was Johnson, by a vote in the party as opposed to a national parliamentary election like the current contest.

A good analogy would be if the U.S. Senate was unelected, had very little power, and the speaker of the U.S. House was also the leader of the government.

In the U.S., the British Conservative Party would classified as right of center, the British Liberal Democrats as left-wing, and the British Labour Party as an extreme Left — even more radical than the wing of U.S. Democrats unofficially led by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.).

There is also a hardline conservative party simply called The Brexit Party. Its only aim is to pass a Brexit deal that is a total and immediate break from the European Union. It is led by Nigel Farage and possibly cut a bit into the Conservative total in this election.

This election result can also be seen as a victory for the U.K. in general, as the extreme Left of the Labour Party has tried to win a national election and spectacularly lost. It may force them, as under Tony Blair, to become a more moderate party.

If so, they could become competitive once again and restore an ideological balance to the nation.

In a U.S. domestic note: The 2016 win for Brexit, even by former President Bill Clinton’s estimation, paved a political mood for the election of Donald Trump.

Will this Brexit win do the same thing again?

Stay tuned.

This article has been updated with additional information.

David Kamioner
meet the author

David Kamioner is a veteran of U.S. Army Intelligence and an honors graduate of the University of Maryland's European Division. He also served with the Pershing Nuclear Brigade and the First Infantry Division. Subsequent to that he worked for two decades as a political consultant, was part of the American Red Cross Hurricane Katrina disaster relief effort in Louisiana, ran a homeless shelter for veterans in Philadelphia, and taught as a college instructor. He serves as a Contributing Editor for LifeZette.

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