Boris Johnson's Conservatives sweep to victory, UK exit poll suggests
Published: Dec 13, 2019 07:24 AM

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson makes a statement outside 10 Downing Street in London, Britain on Nov. 6, 2019. Photo: Xinhua

The Conservatives led by incumbent UK prime minister Boris Johnson have won a parliamentary majority in the 2019 UK general election, according to UK exit polls.

The predictive polls say that the right-wing Conservative Party won 368 out of 650 seats, while the left-wing Labour Party took 191.

In third place are the Scottish National Party with 55, next, the Liberal Democrats with 13, Plaid Cymru with 3, the Greens with 1 seat, and the Brexit Party with no seats, according to the poll. Other parties are said to have taken 19 seats.

The Conservatives are predicted to have a majority of 86, far beyond the numbers needed to pass legislation without relying on MPs from other parties. This is crucial for Johnson's plans to deliver his long-awaited Brexit legislation to take the UK out of the European Union.

The result would represent a gain of 50 seats for the Conservatives since the 2017 UK general election, where the party only managed to win a minority of 318 seats. In the last election, Labour took home 262 seats, with the polls predicting a 71 point loss for the left-wing party this time around. 

If correct, the results would appear to be a vindication of Johnson's claims that leaving the EU is the most important issue to the British public. As the numbers were announced, Sterling shot up against the dollar.

The UK election exit poll is commissioned by broadcasters the BBC, ITV News and Sky News. Its predictive data comes from pollsters asking people at hundreds of polling stations around the country which party they voted for. The answer is given by filling in a mock ballot paper and putting it in a mock ballot box.

Polling stations in 650 constituencies across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland opened their doors at 07:00 GMT for a third general election in five years, with counting commencing immediately after polls close at 22:00.

Long queues were reported at dozens of polling stations across the country as people came out in huge numbers to make their voices heard.

Final results will come in through the night with 650 MPs being chosen under the first-past-the-post system, in which the candidate who wins the greatest number of votes in each constituency will be elected.

The UK usually holds elections every four to five years, but the snap poll was announced in October by Boris Johnson after he failed to break the logjam in parliament over the Brexit deal his government had thrashed out with the EU.

Johnson has put Brexit at the heart of his campaign, vowing to get parliament approve his "oven-ready" deal and take the UK out of the bloc by 31 January.

The main opposition Labour Party, led by Jeremy Corbyn, said it would negotiate a new deal with the EU and hold a referendum, giving voters the choice to leave on those terms or remain. During the campaign Corbyn put the emphasis on his party's public spending plans, promising to nationalize key industries and transfer wealth from rich to poor.