UK general election brings conservative majority


Photo/ RadioTimes

Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of Labour, suffered a great loss to Boris Johnson's conservative party.

Claire Suchy, Copy Editor

Claire Suchy
Copy Editor

On Dec. 12, the United Kingdom held its general election. Since 2010, the conservative party, or Tories, have been the winning party. The conservative party leader, Boris Johnson, will continue serving as the United Kingdom Prime Minister, a position he has held since 2017.

The Conservative party won 43.6 percent of the vote and secured 365 seats, Labour won 32.2% and 203 seats, Scottish Nation won 3.9% and 48 seats, Liberal Democrats won 11.6% and 11 seats, and the other parties won the remaining 23 seats and 8.7% of the vote.

“I was not surprised,” senior Molly Martini said, “it’s disappointing to see an older demographic is not really being empathetic to young generations and what they’re going to go through.”

Members of the conservative party, much like the conservative party in the United States, are mostly middle class. The Tory party values include maintaining a free-market economy, building a strong military, and encouraging strong national values. David Cameron, Theresa May and Boris Johnson, the last three Prime Ministers, have belonged to the Tory party. Though the conservative party has some comparable qualities to the US conservative party, there are many policies that Johnson campaigned for that are considered ‘left ideas’ in the US, including: reach net-zero carbon emissions, continue to roll out universal credit, and create more childcare institutions.

The next largest party is Labour, the opposition of the conservative party. Labour is a democratic socialist party whose policies include expanding workers rights and fighting for social justice and equality. Labour was led by Jeremy Corbyn, a Member of Parliament from Islington North since 1983 and the leader of the Opposition since 2015. Corbyn introduced a manifesto that outlined his policies, which included: raising the minimum wage, free broadband for all, reducing the voting age to 16, and more.

“The conservative party shares a lot of traditional American left-wing views,” senior Megan Craft said, “So I feel like the [Labour] party is very radical and it really isn’t going to align well with a lot of older generations.”

The Scottish National Party campaigns on social-democratic ideals while also calling for the independence of Scotland from the European Union. Liberal Democrats, known as Lib Dems, campaigned on centrist policies such as stopping Brexit, taking on climate change, and more.

The key issues in this election had been the NHS, or the National Health Service, and Brexit. On Dec. 2, Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the Labour party, accused Johnson of trying to sell the NHS to private US health insurances. The NHS is a part of a transatlantic trade deal between the US and the UK, which could lead to pharmaceutical companies drastically boosting the price of drugs, according to NBC News. Brexit was also a highly contested issue, Johnson was one of the loudest voices in the leave party in 2016, in this election he campaigned on the slogan ‘Get Brexit Done.’ Corbyn remained ‘neutral’ on Brexit throughout the campaign, stating he would negotiate a new deal with the EU.

“I feel like there are some parallels with Boris Johnson [being elected again] and Trump being elected again,” senior Amiya Kokate said, “And if anything I think it’s gonna teach the British a lesson because their national health services are being revoked.”

So, how do these elections work? The United Kingdom general elections are held for UK House of Commons, the lower house of Parliament. When electing their Prime Minister, their elections function much differently than those in the United States. In the general election, UK citizens vote for representatives. The Queen then chooses an MP from the party that wins a majority to serve as the Prime Minister. Parliamentary sessions last 5 years.

“It was sort of difficult for me to follow the election since their system is so different from ours,” junior Priscilla Cole said.

After the results of the general election and heavy defeat of the Labour party, Jeremy Corbyn, announced he would be stepping down.