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Image courtesy of Financial Times
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has achieved what Theresa May, and even David Cameron, could have dreamt of. Winning 365 seats to give him comfortable majority in the House of Commons, Mr Johnson has managed to tap into – and exploit – the frustration of both the stagnation of leaving the EU and the growing alienation between Labour and its traditional heartlands.
The PM’s previous defeats in the House of Commons has appeared to have strengthened his electoral hand. The narrative of ‘People vs Parliament’ and ‘Get Brexit Done’ resonated across the country. The electorate, as the Labour party and the Remain movement fail to understand, do not watch hours and hours of analysis on the intricacies of old politics; the metrics by which previous leaders and their governments were judged.
Losing votes on his Brexit deal gave Boris all the ammunition he needed. Electorally speaking, it gave him a clean appeal to parts of the country that would never have considered voting Conservative and had not done so (in some regions) for a hundred years. Brexit, and Labour seemingly trapped in the Westminster bubble, gave voters all the reason they needed.
Boris must now deliver, notably Brexit (now all but certain to pass). He must also deliver on his promises to invest any dividend to crucial projects in the north and also fulfill pledges to implement a stricter immigration system that has long been a concern of not just the north, but of many parts of England.
This election has demonstrated that the English electorate determines the outcome of elections. This has been something that the Labour party will have to learn once again if they will ever take power in the United Kingdom. England, of course, is far larger than London. The already well derided metropolitan elite may have always despised the ‘Workington man’, yet they will have to offer them something beyond increased welfare and larger social spending. This election has revealed that patriotism is alive in the United Kingdom and people are willing to vote to support the only party that thinks that the UK is a fundamentally good place.
This leads onto one of the biggest assets the Conservatives had; Jeremy Corbyn. He may have enthused students up and down the land, made Londoners feel warm and fuzzy about the Palestinians, or inspired Guardian columnists to write about the tyrannical systems of ‘patriarchy’ were being smashed left, right and centre. Unless of course, they were looking for a female leader of the party, but I am sure that will come this century. Maybe.
Either way, the people of this country have fundamentally rejected a person who went out of his way to represent the ‘oppressed’ of the world. Coincidentally, these happen to be Islamic Jihadists (Hamas and Hezbollah), the IRA, and the tyrannical regime in Venezuela. Not talk of the muddled stance on Brexit, designed at keeping Labour from fragmenting and staving off the Liberal Democrats, confused and worried many who had voted for Leave in 2016. What leave voter could trust Labour to negotiate a ‘credible leave option’ by a party that did not want to implement it?
This is a victory for Boris and a consequential one at that.