2019 United Kingdom General Election

General election held in the United Kingdom
2019 UK general election
2019 general election
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December 12, 2019
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2019 United Kingdom general election
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The 2019 United Kingdom general election was held on Thursday 12 December 2019. The Conservative Party, having failed to obtain a majority in the 2017 general election, had faced prolonged parliamentary deadlock over Brexit while it governed in minority with the support of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), a vote which had forced the resignation of the previous Prime Minister Theresa May. As a result, Boris Johnson called for an early election to take place in December, which was eventually passed into law. In July 2019, Boris Johnson was elected as the Conservatives' leader and appointed as Prime Minister, after Theresa May's resignation. Johnson could not get Parliament to approve a revised withdrawal agreement by the end of October, and chose to call for a snap election. The House of Commons supported the Early Parliamentary General Election Act 2019 by 438–20, setting the election date for 12 December. Johnson needed to obtain an overall majority in the election in order to accomplish his main goal of taking the United Kingdom out of the European Union by the end of January 2020. Opinion polls up to polling day showed a firm lead for the Conservatives against Labour throughout the campaign. The election resulted in a Conservative landslide majority win of 80 seats, their largest majority since 1987, with the party making a net gain of 48 seats and winning 43.6% of the vote — the highest percentage by any party since 1979. In England, the Conservatives won 345 out of 533 seats. Many Conservative gains were made at the expense of the Labour Party in the latter's long-time stronghold in Northern England, known as the 'red wall'. Many of these seats had not had a Conservative MP in decades, if ever, but registered a strong 'Leave' vote in the 2016 EU referendum. The Labour Party won 202 seats, making it their worst result since the 1935 general election (in terms of the number of seats). The Scottish National Party (SNP) made a net gain of 13 seats and won 3.9% of the UK vote (though 45% of the popular vote in Scotland), resulting in 48 out of 59 seats won in Scotland. The Liberal Democrats improved their vote share to 11.6% but won only 11 seats, a net loss of one since the last election. For the third consecutive election, four different parties won the most seats in the four constituent countries that make up the UK: the Conservatives won a majority in England; the SNP won a majority in Scotland; Labour won a majority in Wales; and the DUP won the largest minority of seats in Northern Ireland (but did not win over 50% of them). There, the SDLP and The Alliance regained parliamentary representation as the DUP lost seats. The result of the election saw the Conservatives strengthening their position on Brexit, with Johnson securing a mandate to ensure the UK's departure from the European Union (EU) on 31 January 2020. Labour's defeat led to Jeremy Corbyn announcing his intention to resign, triggering a leadership election. For Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson, the loss of her constituency's seat compelled her to resign, also triggering a leadership election. The party's leader in Wales, Jane Dodds, was also unseated. For the SNP leader, Nicola Sturgeon, her party's success led to renewed hope for a second independence referendum, to which the Conservative Party had expressed its opposition before the election. In Northern Ireland, nationalist MPs outnumbered unionist ones for the first time.
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