‘Twas the night before the election and all through the nation, the people awaited defeat or celebration. To the left, a socialist Santa with a sack full of expensive promises but no belief in his manifesto to power the sleigh. It would not be a miracle on 10 Downing Street for Jeremy Corbyn – nor the Liberal Democrats, whose triggering of the election backfired into a blue Christmas.
In a landslide victory, the Conservative party gained 66 seats on their pledge to Get Brexit Done. It was a campaign that had been criticised for its one-track slogan, but one that struck a chord with a desperate and disenfranchised British public who went to the polls with the same priority in mind. In an unprecedented turn of events, Labour’s northern heartlands rejected their party in favour of the Tories, bringing about their largest majority in the House of Commons since the 1987 election under Margaret Thatcher.
As the red wall crumbled around Corbyn – his party suffering its worst result since 1935 – the Labour leader announced he would be standing down in spring 2020.
With a majority secured in parliament, the Conservative party have now cleared the path for Brexit: ironically, it could come at the cost of the union itself.
In Scotland, a victorious Nicola Sturgeon celebrates the SNP’s substantial return of seats, with the real star on the tree being the dethroning of Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson. The Scottish people have made their overwhelming desire for independence loud and clear: until they are given Indy Ref 2, they will be a thorn in the side of the UK government. Meanwhile in Northern Ireland, uncertainty grows surrounding Johnson’s concessions regarding a sea border that many fear would jeopardise the Good Friday agreement. With reunification of the island of Ireland suddenly back on the table, civil unrest could be on the horizon if not handled with care.
Nevertheless, after three years of painful back and forth, the British public can look forward to what seems to be the end of uncertainty with regard to Brexit. The result of that fateful democratic vote which took years to materialise finally looks to be in sight – at least the markets seem to think so. Any UK citizen spending their holidays overseas will have welcomed an upswing in the pound as the results of the election unfolded.
Now is the time for Boris Johnson to deliver the countless promises he himself has offered on the back of our EU exit; to use his majority to help rebuild our public services and heal the divides the debate has caused.