Parties, protests mark Boris Johnson’s thumping poll win
Terming his new government as ‘the people’s government’, Johnson said he and his party would “work round the clock to repay your trust and to deliver on your priorities”.Updated: Dec 14, 2019 18:03 IST
Celebrations by Conservative supporters and impromptu protests by thousands of people in London and elsewhere against the new Boris Johnson government were held on Friday night, as the scale of the party’s landslide win became apparent.
Labour candidates and supporters found it difficult to process the defeat. Many rounded on leader Jeremy Corbyn and his hard-left policies, and leaders, particularly those from the Tony Blair-Gordon Brown era, surfaced to say they had predicted such a fate under him.
Corbyn is expected to step down in early 2020 to make way for a new leader. Those considered front-runner include Indian-origin Lisa Nandy, Keir Starmer, Emily Thornberry and Jess Phillips, as a post-mortem began after recriminations on Friday.
The Conservative party found itself winning in seats it had never held, including working class mining areas that always voted for Labour. Johnson promised to deliver on the trust such voters had placed in him and his party.
Terming his new government as ‘the people’s government’, Johnson said he and his party would “work round the clock to repay your trust and to deliver on your priorities”. The party won 365 of the 650 seats in the House of Commons; Labour won 203..
‘Not my prime minister’ was the theme of protests in London outside parliament, where activists clashed with the police. Placards included signs such as ‘Defy Tory Rule’ and ‘Refugees Welcome’, as similar demonstrations were reported from other parts of the UK.
The Guardian commented that Johnson has redrawn the political map, adding that Labour and the Liberal Democrats parties are in disarray; Brexit will pass and Scottish independence will move to the centrestage, given the Scottish National Party’s increased tally of 48.
It added: “The prime minister implied on Friday that he understands the transformed political landscape…The one-nation and healing rhetoric may herald a new kind of Toryism. Yet such populism also opens the way for attacks on judges, human rights and the BBC”.
“Where migrants fit in the one nation of which Mr Johnson spoke remains to be seen…Mr Johnson has won a great victory. But his problems are only just beginning”.