Exit poll says Boris Johnson set to lead Tories to clear majority
According to the exit poll, the Conservative party is likely to win 368 seats, Labour 191, the Scottish National Party 55 and the Liberal Democrats 13. The pound immediately shot up against the dollar as the exit poll was announced.Updated: Dec 14, 2019 04:43 IST
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is predicted to lead the Conservative party to an outright majority in the 650-member House of Commons, according to an exit poll released soon after voting ended on Thursday night that spread gloom in Labour ranks.
The exit poll is an indication based on polling by over 20,000 voters chosen at random as they left polling stations in 144 constituencies. The results will begin trickling in around 12 midnight GMT (5.30 am India time) and most of the results by 6 am GMT (11.30 am India time),
According to the exit poll, the Conservative party is likely to win 368 seats, Labour 191, the Scottish National Party 55 and the Liberal Democrats 13. The pound immediately shot up against the dollar as the exit poll was announced.
If the actual results reflect the exit poll, it will vindicate Johnson and his Brexit-focussed strategy and put pressure on Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to resign. It would be the biggest Conservative victory since 1987 and Labour’s worst result since 1935.
A new Johnson government will be expected to fast-track Brexit according to the withdrawal agreement signed with Brussels in October, and leave the European Union by January 31. Parliament is expected to be convened next week.
Exit polls in recent elections have proved to be accurate. For example, it correctly predicted a hung parliament in 2017 and predicted that the Conservatives would be the largest party in 2015.
The exit poll deeply disappointed Labour ranks, with Corbyn critics blaming him and his hard-left approach. Shadow chancellor John McDonnell expressed ‘shock’ while senior leader Barry Gardiner called it a ‘devastating blow’ and a ‘deeply depressing prediction’.
“I’m sorry that we have failed you”, tweeted senior leader Chris Bryant, while his party colleague Caroline Flint added: “We’re going to hear the Corbynistas blame it on Brexit and the Labour Uber Remainers blaming Corbyn”.
“Both are to blame for what looks like a terrible night for Labour. Both have taken for granted Labour’s heartlands. Sorry we couldn’t offer you a Labour Party you could trust”, she added.
Conservative chairman James Cleverly advised caution in reading the results, since they are predictions, not actual results. However, he claimed to have detected ‘fury’ in Labour strongholds, particularly against Corbyn.