The United Kingdom held a special election on Thursday. All seats in Parliament were subject to the vote. Prime Minister Boris Johnson had called for the election earlier this year. He has been working to reach an agreement with European Union leaders to withdraw the U.K. from the EU. But Johnson’s Conservative Party didn’t hold enough seats in Parliament to push through approval of his plans. Parliament members representing the opposing Labour Party put up what Johnson referred to as “roadblocks,” keeping Britain from exiting the EU.
Confident that the British voters were eager to see Brexit (Britain’s exit from the EU) move forward, Johnson called for the early election. The next scheduled election was almost two years away. The Prime Minister hoped to tip the balance of seats in Parliament more in his favor. Thursday’s results proved his expectations to be well founded. The Conservative Party took a decisive victory, gaining a clear majority. On Friday, 649 of the 650 House of Commons election results were declared. The Conservative Party had 364 seats, and the Labour Party held 203.
The outcome should pave the way to fulfill Johnson’s plan to take the U.K. out of the European Union by the end of January 2020.
The victory makes Johnson the most electorally successful Conservative leader since Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
President Donald Trump congratulated Johnson on Twitter, He said that “Britain and the United States will now be free to strike a massive new trade deal after Brexit.”
Europe formed the European Union in the decades after World War II. It was intended to bring unity to a shattered continent. More than three years ago, the British people narrowly voted to leave the union. How Britain and the remaining 27 EU members will relate to one another legally and economically after Brexit remains to be seen. Britain’s departure will start a new phase of negotiations on those future relations.
Johnson campaigned heavily to an exhausted British people with three powerful words: “Get Brexit Done!” Upon news that the Conservative Party had gained such a clear majority, the value of the British pound rose measurably. Economists say that is a sign that not only Great Britain but also the general global market is eager to resolve the drawn-out indecision.
(Prime Minister Boris Johnson returns to 10 Downing Street, London, after meeting with Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace in the wake of his landslide victory. Stefan Rousseau/PA via AP)