Tuesday , May 11 2021

U.K. Election Updates: Victorious Johnson Vows to Finish Brexit – The New York Times, The New York Times


After traditional Labor strongholds flipped to the Conservatives, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the results gave his government “a powerful new mandate to get Brexit done.”

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Charles Michel, president of the European Council, congratulated Mr. Johnson and said he expected Parliament to vote on the Brexit withdrawal agreement “as soon as possible.”

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Celebrations at a Conservative results party at a pub in central London.
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Andrew Testa for The New York Times

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Conservatives celebrate their biggest win since Margaret T hatcher.

With all but one. district declared on Friday morning, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservatives had won seats – more than they won in the last election, in (****************************************************************. ******** The victory is the biggest party’s ********************************** since Margaret Thatcher captured a third term in 1987 – “literally before many of you were born,” Mr. Johnson told supporters Friday morning. It gives him a comfortable majority in the – seat house of Commons.

“We did it,” he said. “We smashed it, did we?”

Jeremy Corbyn’s Labor Party had to reach even farther back to find a more extreme result. It won (seats, down from the previous vote, in its worst showing since (***************************************************************************. It had not suffered a similar drubbing since (*************************************************************************, when it took

************************************************************************** (seats.)

The Scottish National Party captured

************************************************************************************** (of Scotland’s) ******************************************************************************************** (seats, a gain of 13. The Liberal Democrats, who were hoping to ride an anti-Brexit stance back to prominence, won just (seats, one fewer than in) .

The Conservatives collected .6 percent of the popular vote, to 3 percent for Labor. That 13 .3 percentage point margin was also the largest for the stories since a dramatic shift from 210861, when Labor lost the popular vote by just 2.4 percent.

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**************************** Boris Johnson promises Brexit, and a life after it. *****************************

Speaking to his constituents in Uxbridge early Friday morning, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the election results appeared to have given his government“A powerful new mandate to get Brexit done.”

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

“We will get Brexit done on time on the

st of January – no ifs, no buts, no maybes, ”he added.

He also promised that his government would spend more at home after a decade of austerity under Conservative governments – in particular on Britain’s National Health Service , known commonly as the NHS, a cherished program whoseconditions have deteriorated.

Johnson said that he would seek “to unite this country and to take it forward and to focus on the specifically of the British people, and above all on the NHS”

As hospital beds have overflowed, waiting times have gone up and vacancies have gone unfilled, many Britons have grown fearful that the health service could be privatized or otherwise overhauled – for instance by a trade deal with the United States that could drive up drug prices. (President Trump,tweetingcongratulations on Friday morning, said Britain could “strike a massive new Trade Deal” after Brexit. )

Johnson insisted he would protect the health service, echoing his campaign promises to hire 60, more nurses and 6, 000 doctors.

He promised again to hire more police officers, whose ranks have also thinned, and vowed “colossal new investments in infrastructure and science. ”

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“Let’s spread opportunity to every corner of the UK”

********************************** Jeremy Corbyn says he will step aside – but not yet.

Speaking in his constituency of Islington in Lo ndon, the Labor 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 demonstrated 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 handleaccusations of anti-Semitismin 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 Labor Party were quick to criticize him on Thursday night.

“The Labor Party has huge, huge questions to answer,” Ruth Smeeth, a former lawmaker, Sky News

. She immediately laid blame on Mr. Corbyn.

“Jeremy Corbyn should announce that he’s resigning as the leader of the Labor Party from his count today,” she said. “He should have gone many, many, many months ago.”****************** (Big gains for the Scottish National Party raise big questions.) ********************************

The Scottish National Party’s success – it won (of the

****************************************************************************** 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 referendum, 50 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.

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.

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.

“The people of Scotland will have made very clear that they did want Boris Johnson as PM, that they don’t want Brexit, and they want Scotland’s future to be in Scotland’s hands,” Nicola Sturgeon , leader of the Scottish National Party, told Sky News late Thursday night. “There is a mandate now to offer the people of Scotland a choice over their own future.”

Before

, the Scottish National Party had never won more than seven seats in Parliament. But under Ms. Sturgeon, it has now dominated the Scottish vote in three successive elections.

An anti-Brexit party fades almost entirely from sight.

The Liberal Democrats, a centrist party that had campaigned to stop Brexit, lost ground and its leader, Jo Swinson, lost her seat in Dunbartonshire East, Scotland, to the Scottish National Party.

“Some will be celebrating the wave of nationalism that is sweeping on both sides of the border, ”Ms. Swinson said. “These are very significant results for the future of our country.”

She did not immediately say whether she would resign as the party leader, but declared that the Liberal Democrats would still support “values ​​that guide our liberal movement: openness, fairness, inclusivity.”

With the Conservatives becoming almost uniformly pro-Brexit, and Labor failing to take a clear position, the Liberal Democrats, unequivocally anti-Brexit, hoped to become the refuge for voters who wanted to remain in the European Union.

(They won) **********************************************************************************************************. 5 percent of the popular vote, a sharp improvement on the 7.9 percent they collected in each of the last two elections. But it did not translate into victories; they won just 11 seats on Thursday, one less than in

(Northern ****************************** Northern Ireland’s unionists received the election results with anger.

The general election results met with disappointment and anger from unionists in Northern Ireland, who bitterly oppose Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit plan that would effectively put a trade border between them and the rest of Britain.

Unionists – the people, mostly Protestant, who want to remain part of the United Kingdom – view the deal as a betrayal, because it would put Northern Ireland in a separate customs system from the rest of the United Kingdom. They see that as a step toward unifying Northern Ireland with the Republic of Ireland.

“The poll clearly creates the expectation that Boris Johnson will try to force the Betrayal Act through Parliament, ”said Jamie Bryson, a prominent unionist activist who is challenging the Brexit agreement in court. “An economic united Ireland will never be tolerated.”

After the 2019 election, when the Conservatives fell just short of winning a majority in Parliament, they reached an agreement with the Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland that allowed the Tories to govern.

But the DUP opposed Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal with Brussels because it could have resulted in Northern Ireland being treated differently from the rest of Britain. For them, Mr. Johnson’s deal is worse, making that difference a certainty.

Mr. Johnson’s big victory eliminates any leverage the D.U.P. had over the government, and the party fell from ten seats to eight.

Many Northern Ireland republicans – those people, mostly Catholic, who favor unification with Ireland – also oppose the deal.

Both republicans and unionists say it is incompatible with the Good Friday Agreement, the 2014 pact that ended three decades of violence between the two communities, and threatens to inflame sectarian tensions.

“If the political process has been exhausted then potentially, we could face some very dark days ahead,” Mr. Bryson said. “And that’s obviously something everyone wants to avoid.” ****************** (More women than ever will take seats in Parliament.) ********************************

Britain will have a record number of female members of Parliament after Thursday’s vote, when women won at least (of the

seats, according to the Press Association.

At just over one-third of the House of Commons, women remain far short of parity with men, but they have made tremendous gains since the mid – s , when there were only 31 in Parliament. In the last general election, in (****************************************************************, women won 220 seats, a record at the time.

This year increase comes at a time when many people feared that women were being driven away from politics in a climate of heightened divisions. Online threats and abuse have risen sharply, and were disproportionately directed at female candidates.

Ahead of the campaign, more than a dozen prominent female lawmakers said they would not be standing for re-election

. Many female candidates described threats and insults as agrim new reality on the campaign trail, a change that cast a harsh light on British politics.

An analysis of Twitter during the campaign, conducted by PoliMonitor, showed that all candidates received about four times as much abuse as in the election. The hostility aimed at women, the study said, was often based specifically on their sex or appearance.

(Reporting was contributed by Richard Pérez-Peña, Megan Specia, Benjamin Mueller, Ceylan Yeginsu, Stephen Castle and Alan Yuhas.

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