The Conservative Party have officially been declared winners of the General Election, after securing over 360 seats on a disastrous night for Labour.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson described the victory as a “powerful mandate to get Brexit done” as the Labour vote collapsed in some of the party’s traditional heartlands.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has conceded defeat and said he will leave the party leadership after a period of reflection.
In his victory speech, Johnson said: “I don’t want to tempt fate because clearly lots of results are still coming in and we’re still only dealing with projections 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.
VIDEO: Prime Minister Boris Johnson says the British people have given his Conservative government a "powerful new mandate" to deliver Brexit and unite the country.
Exit polls and early results suggest the Tories are on course for a historic victory pic.twitter.com/DBQZvirS7j
— AFP news agency (@AFP) December 13, 2019
He added: “And not just to get Brexit done, but to unite this country and to take it forward and to focus on the priorities of the British people, and above all, on the NHS.
“I am grateful, I am grateful once again, to the people of Uxbridge and South Ruislip for returning me to serve you. ‘It is an absolute privilege to do this job and to work for you.”
After initial exit polls predicted a huge Conservative majority, the first shock came as the Tories secured the North East constituency of Blythe Valley for the first time – marking Labour’s first significant loss of the night.
Further defeats for Labour came in Don Valley, where Labour MP Caroline Flint lost to the Conservative Party after 22 years in the seat.
“I will not lead the party in any future general election campaign.”
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn speaks as he retains his seat of Islington North. pic.twitter.com/6cTj0fqKHy
— Channel 4 News (@Channel4News) December 13, 2019
Late on, veteran Labour firebrand Dennis Skinner also lost his seat in the traditional mining community of Bolsover – having represented the constituency for 49 years.
The party also retained North East seats include Newcastle Central, Sunderland Central, Newcastle-upon-Tyne East and Houghton and Sunderland South, but with significantly reduced majorities.
It marks Labour’s biggest electoral loss since 1935, while the Tories have secured 364 seats and are set to have their biggest majority since Margaret Thatcher was in power in 1987.
Labour, who had 243 sitting MPs when Parliament was dissolved last month, was originally predicted to lose just 52 seats.
In Scotland, the Scottish National Party (SNP) won 47 of the country’s 59 seats, with leader Nicola Sturgeon claiming that the results gave the country a mandate to secure a second referendum on independence from the United Kingdom.
The party also defeated Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson in her constituency of East Dunbartonshire. She has since stepped down as leader of the party.
Johnson is now expected to return to Number 10 later today, where he is in a stronger position to push through his Brexit deal and take the UK out of the European Union next month.