British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wins substantial majority as Labour and the Liberal Democrats suffer major defeats - as it happened
The United Kingdom has voted in a general election seen as a critical juncture in the Brexit crisis engulfing British politics.
Thursday's high-stakes ballot came after months of political deadlock over the UK's drama-filled bid to quit the European Union, with MPs split over how to execute the result of the 2016 referendum on membership of the bloc.
Here are the updates:
05:00 - Johnson arrives at the Palace to meet Queen
Johnson steps out of the car and enters the King's entrance to ask the Queen to form a new government.
02:30pm - World leaders congratulate Johnson's win
World leaders have been sending their well wishes to Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Here's what they had to say:
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) December 13, 2019
Congratulations @BorisJohnson on a resounding victory and being returned as UK PM. Looking forward to the stability this brings and a new deal for Oz with the UK. Say g’day to the quiet Britons for us. pic.twitter.com/1SDQPIhNFZ— Scott Morrison (@ScottMorrisonMP) December 13, 2019
— Boyko Borissov (@BoykoBorissov) December 13, 2019
Congratulations to @BorisJohnson on leading the Conservative Party to the election victory in UK. I look forward to work with you to further strengthen Latvia’s-UK 🇱🇻🇬🇧excellent relations, and to ensure mutually beneficial and positive 🇪🇺🇬🇧relationship. #StrongerTogether— Krišjānis Kariņš (@krisjaniskarins) December 13, 2019
02:00pm - Boris Johnson's victory speech
Watch a clip from Boris Johnson's victory speech.
"Let's get Brexit done."
Speaking after securing a resounding win in the UK #ElectionResults2019, Prime Minister Boris Johnson says it should end talk of a second EU referendum. https://t.co/PJa0onUV3r pic.twitter.com/znj4dilgeK— CNN International (@cnni) December 13, 2019
11:10am – Conservatives win a majority
The Conservative party has won the 2019 election after formally ensuring an overall Commons majority by winning its 368th seat.
10:10am – US President Donald Trump congratulates Boris Johnson
Looking like a big win for Boris in the U.K.!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 13, 2019
09:50am - Boris Johnson touts ‘historic’ election
Boris Johnson has hailed a "historic" election result after holding his seat.
"I don't want to tempt fate ... but at this stage it does look as though this one nation Conservative government has been given a powerful new mandate to get Brexit done," he said.
Johnson added he will then focus on the NHS, repeating a number of disputed pledges about the numbers of new nurses and hospitals he will create.
He thanked "Lord Buckethead, Elmo and others," in a seat where plenty of joke candidates ran.
"But above all I want to thank the people of this country for turning out to vote in a December election," he said. He called it a "historic election" which gave him "the chance to respect the democratic will of the British people."
“If Boris Johnson gets a full term, it will have been 50 years since any Labour leader other than Tony Blair won a general election"
Alastair Campbell calls on the party to “reroute their politics back where people live their lives”https://t.co/feN65Kctaq #BBCElection #GE2019 pic.twitter.com/PoKTNsBbtc— BBC Politics (@BBCPolitics) December 13, 2019
09:30am - Corbyn says he will not lead Labour into another election
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn says the pressure on people in the public life is high. And the attacks on people in public life are disgusting.
He says it has been a “very disappointing night” for Labour.
But the party put forward a manifesto of hope, he says. Brexit has polarized debate, he says.
He says the issues of social justice will not go away. They will come back. And the fundamental Labour message is one that will be there for all time.
— ITV News (@itvnews) December 13, 2019
09:20am – Tories down slightly in revised projections
British broadcasters have updated their predictions based on partial results, showing a slightly smaller majority for the Conservatives than earlier predicted.
They've slid the Conservatives down to 257 (from 268). This is still a very comfortable majority for the Tories - but Labour are up to 201.
09:08am – Boris Johnson's father accused of making Islamophobic remark during election show
Stanley Johnson, father of Boris Johnson, has come under criticism for making allegedly Islamophobic comments during a live election night show on Channel 4.
Hello @Ofcom how can I complain to you about the islamophobia I just heard come out of Stanley Johnson’s mouth during the channel 4 election coverage? Horrified at what I’m hearing.— Zoe London (@zoelondondj) December 13, 2019
He said: "If I was a female fighter jet pilot, I would expect someone to say 'don't wear a burqa.'"
A fellow panelist on the show labelled the comment as "disgraceful."
Boris Johnson has been accused of Islamophobia in the past, having previously said in a newspaper column that women in burqas "look like letter boxes."
09:05am - EU ready to take ‘next steps’ in Brexit negotiations
The European Union stands ready to take the “next steps” in reaching a deal on the final Withdrawal Agreement with the United Kingdom, whatever the result of Thursday’s election, European Council President Charles Michel said Friday morning in Brussels.
“About the outcome of the elections in the UK, we will wait to see what will be the official results. But there is a strong message … tomorrow we’ll have a discussion in the European Council on Article 50 and you know that we are ready for the next steps,” the European Council President said during a press conference in the early hours of Friday.
Late night news conference in Brussels around the EU leaders summit. EU Council President Charles Michel just asked for his reaction to UK election. He says: "We will wait and we will see what will be the official result but there is a strong message that we will give tomorrow."— Andrew Connell (@andrewiconnell) December 13, 2019
“We will see if it is possible for the British parliament to accept the Withdrawal Agreement, to take a decision. And, if it is the case, we are ready for the next steps,” Michel added, asserting that the EU remains committed to maintaining “close cooperation” with the UK.
Speaking to members of the press alongside the European Council President, European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen said the EU is “ready to negotiate” whatever the result.
The view from Europe
CNN's Luke McGee analyzes the views of EU officials on UK election.
Meanwhile in Brussels, diplomats and officials are breathing a sigh of relief.
Contrary to the view of many remain voters in the UK, this is not going down badly with the people on the other side of Brexit.
While at a push, most EU leaders would prefer that the Brexit vote hadn't happened, further uncertainty was by far the worst outcome as far as they were concerned. They wanted clarity, and now they might have it.
Officials are already talking about a big majority meaning that Johnson can push for a closer relationship between Europe and the UK, even if his Euroskeptic backbenchers hate the idea.
France's European affairs minister, Amelie de Montchalin, said that "what France has asked for for a long time is clarity. This result brings that," and that the most important thing with Brexit is "not the way we divorce, it's what we build afterwards."
09:00am – DUP deputy leader loses seat
Northern Island’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) leader, Nigel Dodds, has lost his Belfast North seat to Sinn Fein’s John Finucane, the son of Pat Finucane.
Confirmed: leader of DUP in Westminster Nigel Dodds loses his Belfast North seat to John Finucane in Sinn Fein. It is now possible nationalist MPs in Northern Ireland will outnumber Unionists. That would be seismic— Robert Peston (@Peston) December 13, 2019
‘Offering second referendum main reason for Labour doing so badly’
Ian Lavery, the Labour party chair, told the BBC that Brexit was to blame for the party doing so badly.
“I think what we’re seeing in the Labour heartlands is that people are very aggrieved at the fact that the party has taken a stance on Brexit in the way they have; 17.4 million people voted for Brexit, and basically being ignored is not a good recipe. I think democracy prevails. Ignore democracy, and to be quite honest the consequences will come back and bite you.”
Ian Lavery: “17.4m people voted for brexit, they were ignored. Ignore democracy and it will come back and bite you”
This is the man Labour needs to listen to in the next few years. Not the likes of Starmer or Southern remainers.— fuck remainers (@Iibdem) December 13, 2019
Labour Party blame game begins
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn faced calls to quit, after equivocation over Brexit and his limited personal appeal contributed to a collapse in traditional strongholds and what looks like his party's worst election defeat in 84 years.
An exit poll and early results showed Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservative Party were set for a resounding victory in Britain's election, allowing him to deliver Brexit on January 31.
That leaves Labour, a 100-year-old party born out of the trade union movement, wrestling with what went wrong and what to do about it.
The exit poll showed voters had gone with Johnson's "Get Brexit Done" promise and pro-market philosophy and rejected left-wing veteran Corbyn, who had promised a second Brexit referendum and a radical expansion of the state.
Labour candidate Gareth Snell said he expected to lose his parliamentary seat in Stoke-on-Trent, a city once regarded as a Labour stronghold, and made clear that he wanted Corbyn to take responsibility for the party's poor performance.
— Audrey (@AudreyAurus1) December 12, 2019
seeing #CorbynOut trending like he’s just managed a top 6 side and failed to get a win away at norwich. only way this gets better is if a fan channel rocks up outside number 10 and starts ranting about how they need some new people brought in january— Callum Markie (@callummarkie) December 12, 2019
08:25am – Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has arrived at the count for Islington North, his constituency. He did not respond to questions posed by reporters as he was going in.
[Labour activists applaud as Jeremy Corbyn arrives at his vote count in Islington]
Sky News anchor: If you were there, would you be clapping?
Labour MP Jess Phillips: [pause] [sigh] I suppose I would act with courtesy.— Josh Barro (@jbarro) December 13, 2019
How accurate are exit polls?
Broadcasters have been commissioning exit polls at least since 1974 and in recent years they have been reliable, and sometimes extraordinarily accurate. Here are figures showing how they have performed in the past.
2017: Wrong by 4. The combined BBC/ITV/Sky exit poll said the Conservatives would be 12 seats short of a majority, and they ended up eight seats short of a majority.
2015: Wrong by 22. It said the Conservatives would be 10 seats short of a majority, but they got a majority of 12.
2010: It said the Conservatives would be 19 short of a majority, and they were.
2005: It predicted a Labour majority of 66, which Labour got. Before 2005 the BBC and ITV commissioned separate exit polls. Their record was not as good as the record of the more recent combined one.
2001: Both exit polls correctly predicted a landslide Labour majority, but the BBC got the size of the majority wrong by 10 seats (too low), and ITV wrong by eight seats (too high).
08:02am - Exit poll results in full
Liberal Democrats: 13
Plaid Cymru: 3
Brexit party: 0
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) December 12, 2019
08:00am - Prime Minister Boris Johnson's ruling party appeared on course for a sweeping victory in Thursday's snap election, an exit poll showed, paving the way for Britain to leave the EU next month after years of political deadlock.
The Conservatives were forecast to win a thumping 368 out of 650 seats in parliament - which if confirmed would be the party's biggest majority in three decades - according to the survey published as polls closed.
Labour got wrecked but one thing to keep in mind about the UK Election is that voters did not flock to centrists and moderates in opposition to Corbyn and the far-right.
The centrist party — the Liberal Democrats — performed poorly and their leader is set to lose her own seat. https://t.co/7FtobQBMSu— Waleed Shahid (@_waleedshahid) December 13, 2019
Far right wing, fringe extremist Boris Johnson wins huge majority in UK election.
Because one can win major elections while being fringe and extremist.
🤡— Mike Cernovich (@Cernovich) December 12, 2019