British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party secured victory in the UK parliamentary elections, earning a decisive majority which he said sets Britain on track for an “irrefutable” Brexit by 31 January.
Exit polls on Friday confirmed predictions that the Tories would sail past the 326 seats required for a majority in the House of Commons, with live counting by the BBC showing that the Conservatives had secured 364 seats out of the total of 650.
Johnson, whose success was largely credited to his strong “get Brexit done” campaign, hailed victory in a speech on Friday, expressing joy at having received a “new powerful mandate” to achieve Brexit.
Johnson had been appointed the leader of the conservative party and stepped into the position of prime minister after Theresa May quit from office, following repeated failures to get Parliament to approve her Brexit deal with the EU.
“This election means that getting Brexit done is now the irrefutable, irresistible, unarguable decision of the British people.” Johnson said, adding that the results “put an end to all those little miserable threats of a second referendum,” Johnson said.
The results were a crushing setback for the opposition Labour Party, who managed to secure just over 200 seats (203), losing 59 in comparison with the previous legislature.
The vote also saw the leader of the Remainer Liberal Democrats party step down after voters swept her own seat out from under her in favour of an MP from the Scottish National Party (SNP) which made huge gains in Scotland.
Johnson said his party would now “work night and day, flat out” to prove voters they were “right in voting for me this time,” and to secure continued support in the future.
EU Council President and former Belgian premier, Charles Michel, took to Twitter to congratulate Johnson on his victory, adding that the EU was “ready for the next phase” and that it “expected a vote on the withdrawal agreement as soon as possible.”
The Tories’ new majority will clear the path for approval of the agreement, on which the House of Commons is expected to vote on before Christmas.