Labour celebrates extraordinary turnaround
After an astonishing night, it’s been confirmed that Britain is looking at a hung parliament.
Theresa May will speak at 10am about losing her party’s majority in an election she called exclusively with a view to multiplying it three or fourfold. There is fury across the party, but the latest reports suggest May will not resign, but will rather try to build a coalition.
As Jeremy Corbyn commented in Islington North:
“She wanted a mandate. Well, the mandate she’s got is lost Conservative seats, lost votes, lost support and lost confidence. I would have thought that is enough for her to go.”
It’s been an excellent night for Labour, which has increased its seat count on the back of the highest turnout since 1997, including a reported turnout of 72 per cent among 18-25s.
For other progressive parties, the results were mixed. The Lib Dems have gained four seats, but lost Nick Clegg in Sheffield Hallam. The Greens have not achieved further breakthrough, with Caroline Lucas remaining as their only MP. And the SNP has suffered a major setback, losing more than twenty seats, including both Westminster leader Angus Robertson and former party leader Alex Salmond.
The Conservatives came in second in Scotland, climbing to 13 seats, while Labour also exceeded expectations north of the border, increasing their total to seven.
In Wales, the Conservatives made no inroads while Labour took back Gower, Cardiff North and Vale of Clwyd. Plaid Cymru increased their total to four, taking Ceredigion and leaving the Lib Dems without a Welsh MP.
In Northern Ireland, the two more moderate parties — the nationalist SDLP and unionist UUP — have been wiped off the map, with Sinn Féin and the DUP taking all 18. Keep an eye on the DUP, whose ten seats will be essential to any Tory-led government.
There are now several more days of uncertainty ahead, as May (and perhaps Corbyn as well) attempts to build a coalition.
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