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The Winners & Losers of the 2019 UK General Election

By Qasim Swati (United Kingdom)

The ‘Bright Chapter’ for some and the ‘Darkest Day’ for others in the political history of the United Kingdom, the 2019 UK General Election, held on Thursday, December 12, 2019, is one of the most crucial and historical general elections in the history of the country. The results of the election saw many with the tears of joy and the tears of grief. Some were jubilant with a huge smile of happiness, hope and pride on their faces, while others seemed to be hopeless, exhausted, disheartened and desperate.

The big winners of the 2019 UK General Election were mainly the UK Conservative Party (officially the Conservative and Unionist Party/a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom) and the Scottish National Party (SNP), with 365 seats out of 650 for the Conservative Party and 48 seats for the SNP, respectively. The exit poll (a technique or way of forecasting what may happen in the general election at the end of voting, but before the results are known) had predicted 368 seats to be taken by the Conservative, 191 for the Labour Party, 55 for the SNP and 13 for the Liberal Democrats (Lib Dems) in its forecast, just before the original results of the election. However, the exit poll was hugely exact in its prediction, but with a small discrepancy in its calculation. 

In contrast to the exit poll, the result showed that 365 seats had been won by the Conservative Party instead of 368, with gaining first place by securing a 45% vote share or 13.9 million out of 32 million total votes cast in this election. This election turned many red (the Labour-dominated) areas of the country into the blue (the Conservative-dominated) constituencies of the UK. Even though the Labour Party did well than that predicted by the exit poll, as it had been predicted to win no more than 191, but it grabbed some 203 seats instead. The Liberal Democrats had been forecast to take 13 instead of 11 seats, as predicted by the exit poll. The Labour gained the second position in the election by winning 203 out of 650 seats of the UK House of Commons, with around 10.3 million votes or 32.2% vote share.

Similarly, the Lib Dems received some 3,675,342 votes or 11.5% vote share, by taking 11 seats, in the election. The Scottish National Party dominated the political atmosphere of Scotland by winning 48 out of 59 seats in the whole of Scotland, with 1,242,380 votes or 3.9% vote share in the election. 

Likewise, the Green Party won 1 seat, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) 8 seats, Sinn Fein 7 seats, Plaid Cymru 4 seats, Alliance Party (AP) 1 seat, and social Democratic & Labour Party 2 seats in the 2019 UK General Election, respectively. 

The results of this election were deeply astonishing, as this changed the political map of the country. The biggest loser of the election proved to be the UK Labour Party, with heavy losses across the country. In the 2017 UK General Election, the Party had gained 262 seats and had improved its image in both the national and international politics a lot. The Labour Party lost a total of 59 seats in this election, when compared with the General Election of the United Kingdom in 2017.Unfortunately, the Party suffered a humiliating defeat even at the hands of its own members and supporters, as a result of protest against certain policies of the Party, the negative feelings about the leadership of the Party and, mainly, the handling of the Brexit issue in the country. On one hand, this election is the Conservative biggest majority win for the last 30 years since 1987 in its history. On the other hand, the Labour Party saw this election as its worst defeat since 1930. The Party lost many seats in its heartlands, including losing its seat of the constituency of Tony Blair (one of the most notable former UK Prime Ministers of the Labour Party) to the Tories. 

Nevertheless, the other political parties of the United Kingdom also suffered some unexpected and colossal defeat in the form of losing the seats of their leaders, like the seat of the DUP leader (Nigel Alexander Dodds), in Northern Ireland, the loss of the seat of the Liberal Democrats leader (Jo Swinson) to the SNP by 149 votes, and many such other political veterans, senior and famous UK politicians. 

The turnout of the poll was around 67%, meaning that the majority of the voters were enthusiastic in playing their role in the poll in order to end the political deadlock in the country that the people have been experiencing in the form of the Brexit issue for the last more than 3 years. The majority of the Labour Party members, supporters, sympathizers and well-wishers are not happy with the outcome of this election and feel humiliated, frustrated, discouraged and dissatisfied with the politics of the Party and blame the issue of Brexit, but more importantly, criticise the leadership of the party for this humiliating defeat in the election. The Party leader, Jeremy Bernard Corbyn, is the pivotal point of criticism for this defeat by his critics and opponents. They blame him for the disastrous election results, mainly, for not handling the two major issues of anti-Semitism within the party and the mishandling of the matter of Brexit. 

The people of the UK hope to have some positive outcomes for the nation, as a result of the 2019 UK General Election, but there are some concerns, resulting from the election results, in the form of the gain and win for the Conservative Party and the SNP. After securing majority of the seats in Scotland, the SNP leader, Nicola Sturgeon, has started demanding from Prime Minister Boris Johnson for empowering Scotland for holding a second Scottish independence referendum after her landslide victory in the same election. . In the same way, some people are also worried about the change of behaviour in the Conservative Party politics, that can incline them to go for a no-deal Brexit, as this emerged in The Guardian on Thursday, 5 December, 2019, in which the Chancellor Sajid Javid is said to have refused to rule out or exclude the possibility of no-deal Brexit which means that the Tories may be likely to tend towards even leaving the EU membership without any deal, as they have a majority of 80 in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament, as a result of the recent general election. 

Besides, there may also be some apprehension, anxiety or fear about eruption of issues, in relation to the questions of the future of Northern Ireland within the Union of the United Kingdom, as most of the Irish leaders and politicians are not happy with the Brexit deal, done by Boris Johnson.

Qasim Swati is a freelance journalist, writer and human rights activist, based in the UK, and can be reached at https://qasimswati.com or mailto:info@qasimswati.com.

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