General election: Boris Johnson wins huge election victory and ‘stonking mandate’ for Brexit

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The PM says he has a “powerful new mandate to get Brexit done” as his party romps to victory in the general election.

Boris Johnson says he’s “ended the gridlock” in British politics by delivering the Conservatives’ best general election result since 1987 – achieved by tearing seats from Labour in its heartlands.

With 649 of the UK’s 650 constituencies to have declared their results, the Tories had won 364 seats to deliver a huge House of Commons majority.

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It is set to be the largest majority of any government since 2001 and the Conservatives’ highest number of seats since Margaret Thatcher was their leader.

The prime minister will now visit the Queen to form a government having secured what he described as a “powerful new mandate to get Brexit done”.

Speaking at a victory rally in Westminster before sunrise this morning, Mr Johnson hailed a political “earthquake” which saw Labour support crumble in its heartlands in the face of a Conservative landslide.

He told Tory activists: “We did it, we pulled it off didn’t we?

“We broke the deadlock, we ended the gridlock, we smashed the roadblock.”

He added: “With this election I think we’ve put an end to all those miserable threats of a second referendum.”

Mr Johnson said “politicians have squandered the last three years, three and a half years in squabbles”, but “this election means that getting Brexit done is now the irrefutable, irresistible, unarguable decision of the British people”.

“I will put an end to all that nonsense and we will get Brexit done on time by the January 31 – no ifs, no buts, no maybes,” he said.

Image:Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP now has near total domination in Scotland

And he had a message for the traditional Labour voters who switched sides and “lent” the Conservatives their vote.

“Your hand may have quivered over the ballot paper as you put your cross in the Conservative box and you may intend to return to Labour the next time round,” said the PM.

“If that is the case, I am humbled that you have put your trust in me… and I will never take your support for granted.”

‘The red wall is obliterated’: Analysis from Sky’s political experts

Meanwhile – as their fabled “red wall” of seats in the North and Midlands crumbled in the face of Mr Johnson’s pro-Leave message – Labour suffered their worst election result, in terms of seats, since 1935.

They had won 203 seats by 7am – some 59 seats down on their result at the 2017 election.

Jeremy Corbyn responded by announcing he would not lead Labour in any future general election campaign after a “very disappointing night”.

But he suggested he would not be departing as Labour leader immediately and would instead oversee a “process of reflection” in the party.

Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson also suffered a miserable night, after failing to secure re-election to parliament by losing her East Dunbartonshire seat to the SNP.

Her party will hold a leadership election in the New Year to choose her successor.

“This is clearly a setback for liberal values,” she said after the Lib Dems failed to make a breakthrough on Thursday night.

“But there are millions of people across the country who believe in them.

“By coming together to fight for them, we can create a positive future.”

Image:Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson lost her seat in East Dunbartonshire to the SNP

Ms Swinson’s loss in her constituency came as the SNP also gained other seats to return to near-complete dominance across Scotland.

SNP leader and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon refreshed her call for a second Scottish independence referendum as she claimed her country and the rest of the UK are on “divergent paths”.

For the first time in Northern Ireland’s history, nationalist MPs were set to outnumber unionist MPs, after the DUP lost two seats.

This included the DUP’s Westminster leader Nigel Dodds losing his North Belfast seat.

Image:The DUP’s Westminster leader Nigel Dodds lost his seat

The foundation of the Conservatives’ election victory was based on winning a swathe of seats in Leave-supporting areas, many of which had been held by Labour ever since they were created.

The result suggests a fundamental realignment of UK politics, with many of those constituencies won by the Tories on Thursday night having delivered large Labour majorities under former prime minister Tony Blair.

These include seats such as Bolsover, which had been held by Labour since it’s creation in 1950, and Newcastle-under-Lyme, which had been held by Labour since the end of the First World War.

What Boris Johnson’s triumph means for Brexit – and the Union

In a recording obtained by website BuzzFeed, Mr Johnson told aides at the Conservative Party’s headquarters that “no one can now refute” his “stonking mandate” to deliver Brexit.

He added: “We must understand now what an earthquake we have created. The way in which we have changed the political map of this country.

Image:Boris Johnson and girlfriend Carrie Symonds arrive at 10 Downing Street after the Conservative victory

“We have to grapple with the consequences of that, we have to change our own party, we have to rise to the level of events, we must… we must answer the challenge that the British people have given us.”

However, it was not a complete success for Mr Johnson on Thursday night, with the Tories’ losing seats in Remain-supporting areas such as Putney, won by Labour, and St Albans, won by the Lib Dems.

Credit: SkyNews

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