UK General Election 2019 Result Review
UK General Election 2019 Result Review: Conservatives Annihilate Labour
Boris Johnson surged into Downing Street with a spring in his step this morning after his Conservative party secured their largest majority since 1987. It was a phenomenal night for the Tories, as they made symbolic gains in Labour heartlands and sent the red wall tumbling like a house of cards. Johnson has the emphatic majority he so desperately craved and he now has a clear mandate to “get Brexit done”.
There will now be a minor reshuffle and a Brexit bill will go before MPs next Friday.
Johnson’s rivals were well and truly vanquished. Jo Swinson lost her seat in East Dunbartonshire by 149 votes and resigned as Liberal leader after a bruising night for her party. The Lib Dems’ campaign promised so much when the general election was called, but it fizzled out in disastrous fashion. Jeremy Corbyn was also facing up to a political career left in tatters after Labour slumped to their worst general election performance since 1935. Yet up in Scotland Nicola Sturgeon is emboldened after a superb showing for the SNP.
Here we analyse the results for each party and how they compared to the spreads our traders issued before the election:
Conservatives Secure Emphatic Win
Our traders predicted that the Tories would secure just 324 seats in the political spread betting markets when the general election was called in late October. That would have left them two short of the majority they needed to get Brexit done, and they would have struggled to find a willing coalition partner.
The prediction followed a string of damaging defeats for Johnson in the House of Commons, as he struggled to sell his vision for Britain to fellow MPs. However, Nigel Farage then gave Johnson a helping hand by agreeing to pull Brexit Party candidates from all constituencies that voted Conservative in the 2017 election.
It left the Tories as the main party for anyone that wants to see the UK leave the EU, and it allowed them to concentrate on battling the Lib Dems and Labour without having to worry about the threat from Farage. The polls consistently placed the Conservatives well ahead of Labour, and Johnson wisely dodged calls for a potentially tricky interview with Andrew Neil of the BBC. By the day of the election, our traders predicted the Tories would win 337-343 seats. Exit polls predicted 368 seats for the Conservatives, sparking scenes of jubilation among their supporters.
The Tories ended up with 364 seats after all but one of the constituencies declared. St Ives –which the Conservatives won by a narrow margin in 2017 – was the odd one out, as bad weather in the Scilly Isles dictated a recount. That is an emphatic victory for Johnson, and it leaves him plenty of room to manoeuvre in the House of Commons.
Labour Look to Rebuild After Disastrous Election Campaign
The election campaign can now only be described as an unmitigated disaster for Labour. Our traders initially pitched them at 204 seats when the general election was called, although that increased to a healthier 221-227 by election day following reports of a Labour surge. Yet they ended up with just 203 votes, which is pretty much what our traders initially expected.
Corbyn immediately said he would not contest another election, pledging to step down after a “reflection period”, while shadow John McDonnell claimed the party faltered by sitting on the fence over Brexit. Labour MPs were not quite so diplomatic, demanding that Corbyn step down immediately after putting the blame squarely at his feet. A period of soul-searching must now begin for Labour as they bid to offer a credible opposition in future.
SNP Dominate Scotland
The SNP gained 13 seats in Scotland to leave them as comfortably the third largest party in Westminster. Once again, our traders showed considerable clairvoyance: they predicted the SNP would gain 50 seats when the election was called, and then they were then pitched at 42-44 on election day. Nicola Sturgeon’s party ended up with 48 and that is an excellent result. We can now expect them to campaign for a second referendum on leaving the UK, and if successful they could well rejoin the EU.
Swinson Steps Down as Lib Dems Tumble
Swinson boldly declared that she could become the next Prime Minister when she kicked off the Lib Dems’ election campaign on 5 November. Out traders thought that sounded pretty fanciful, but they still assigned her party a seat projection of 45 after they adopted a staunch remain position on the Brexit issue. Yet support for Swinson ebbed over the course of the campaign, and in the end, she could not even hold her own seat.
She gained 19,523 votes compared with 19,672 for the SNP’s Amy Callaghan in Dunbartonshire East. It defined a dismal night for the Lib Dems, who were predicted to get 18-22 on election day and ended up with a mere 11 seats after 649 of 650 declared. Voters were seemingly put off by the Lib Dems backing austerity during their time in the coalition government, while even former leader Vince Cable slammed their policy to scrap Brexit without a second referendum. Sir Ed Davey and Baroness Sal Brinton will be acting co-leaders for the party as it bids to regroup.
The Brexit Party went from a prediction of three seats when the election was called to just 0.25-1.75 on polling day. In the end, they ended up with a big, fat zero, but Farage said he was pleased that they poleaxed the Lib Dems and ate into the Labour vote in constituencies that voted for the Conservatives. The Green Party were pitched at 1-2 seats, and in the end, only Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas held. Plaid Cymru were projected to receive five seats at the beginning of the campaign and then 3.5-4.5 on voting day, and they ended up with four.
Now the attention will turn to Brexit as Johnson forges ahead with his plan to lead the UK out of the bloc in January, and that process could yield some intriguing political spread betting markets in future.