New Year, New Parliament

We are into a new year and the Commons is back with a stronger Boris Johnson and Conservative Party. Mr Johnson, the Prime Minister, returned to Westminster with a pretty big majority of 80. Labour fell back to their worst result since the mid 1930s and the smaller parties, excluding the Scottish National Party (SNP), returned in weaker positions.

When the election balloon, that had been growing for what seemed months, finally burst and election day was called for December 12th; most of us were none the wiser what would actually be the result when the clock struck 10pm and the polls closed. 

There is little doubt that the result has made the future a little more clear. Before the election it was by no means clear that Brexit would happen It now seems to be almost certain as certain can be that Brexit will get done, and we will be leaving the European Union on January 31st. With his majority of 80, it will be interesting to see what Boris Johnson seeks to achieve outside of Brexit. Will his Conservative Party be the more metropolitan and socially liberal party that we saw when Johnson was Mayor of London or will they return to the Tory Party of the early and mid 2000s, with a much more conservative social message?


For Labour this election created more questions rather than answering them and they have been thrown into a leadership election that could majorly change the face of the party. The same is true for the Liberal Democrats to a lesser extent after their leader, Jo Swinson lost her seat to the SNP. Keir Starmer at this early point seems to be leading the race to be the new Leader of the Opposition, but Rebeca Long-Bailey- seen by many as the natural successor for the Corbyn project- is also one to watch. This leadership election could be an interesting one as all but one of those in the contest are women, so we could get our first female leader of the Labour Party. Having said this Keir Starmer is ahead of the pack, so we may have to wait a little longer. On a deeper note this election will also decide whether Corbynism continues, or whether the party shifts closer to the centre.


For the smaller parties the election result was not a good one. While the Lib Dems increased their share of the vote by 4% but they ended up losing seats, including their leader’s seat of East Dunbartonshire. They also failed to win any of the seats contested by the new party members that had mostly defected from the other two main parties. 

The Brexit Party failed to gain any seats and in the end actually won less votes than the Green Party. However, it is clear that in the seats that really mattered, in what has become “the Red Wall”, referring to the collection of previously Labour-held seats in the North and North-Midlands, there impact was certainly felt. This begs the question: what’s next for the Brexit Party and Nigel Farage? 

North of the border in Scotland, trouble could be brewing. The SNP returned to Westminster with 13 more seats, taking their total to 48 out of a possible 59 Scottish seats. The Scottish Nationalists have spent the time between now and the election result pushing for another referendum and Boris Johnson has already rejected their proposals, citing the 2014 referendum as a ‘once in a generation vote’. But this does not detract from the fact that the SNP could be a bit of a pain for Mr Johnson.

It now seems clear that the UK is going to leave the EU on January 31st. But outside of that there are still plenty more questions to be answered. Just because election season is over it does not mean that politics doesn’t matter any more.

Concourse is Keele University’s independent student-run publication and has a long history of promoting student journalism. Having been established in 1964, Concourse has become an important part of the university and has been read by generations of Keelites.

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