Boris Johnson's big win with Conservatives in UK general election
FT Whitehall correspondent Sebastian Payne analyses the 2019 election results after a night in which the Tories defeated Labour in its traditional heartlands. Jeremy Corbyn said he would not lead the party at the next election
Produced and edited by Richard Topping
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SEBASTIAN PAYNE: Oh my god, Labour, 191. That's the worst since 31. Oh my god, they've smashed it. That'll be horrific for Labour.
SUBJECT 1: Yes. I thought it would be closer. I think most people thought the polls were narrowing.
SEBASTIAN PAYNE: It's 10:00 PM on Thursday night. And the BBC have just announced the exit poll for the general election. And it predicts a whopping 86 seat majority for Boris Johnson's party. All this talk of a hung parliament or a tight result seems to be blown out of the water. It's only an exit poll.
It's very early days. Not majority could shrink once the actual results come in. But two things are clear.
One, Mr Johnson's gamble to [INAUDIBLE] an election has paid off. And two, Jeremy Corbyn has suffered a huge defeat. Going down below 200 seats would be the party's worst result since the Second World War and in modern times.
So we see as more results come in now, but the crucial thing does seem to be that gamble of targeting voters in the north and the Midlands has paid off. Boris Johnson is going to win a majority and deliver Brexit.
SUBJECT 2: [INAUDIBLE] the conservative party candidate [INAUDIBLE].
SEBASTIAN PAYNE: We've just had the first conservative seat gain of the night in Blythe Valley, a former mining constituency in Northumberland. The conservatives have shockingly taken this seat. This is not the kind of place Tories normally hold. But it is a part of that red wall of [INAUDIBLE] supporting, post-industrial places Boris Johnson was hoping to win.
But even in their wildest dreams, this is not a seat conservative HQ thought they would take. Because back in 1997, this seat had a 17,000 Tory majority and has been represented for many years by Ronnie Campbell, a former miner himself. No more, it's the first Tory gain of election night. So we've just had one of the first big red war results in of tonight, which is working Workington.
Workington was defined by centre right think tank as the kind of place Boris Johnson needs to win to form a majority. And as we've just seen, that's gone from Labour to the conservative with a big swing. The Tories win it with a 4,000 majority. It also means we have the first shadow cabinet lost the night with Sue Hayman, the shadow environment minister, losing her seat.
Law supporters of Jeremy Corbyn, like Richard Burgon here have been out trying to explain this bad result for Labour tonight. They've been saying it's all to do with Brexit, nothing to do with the party's manifesto or the policies it put forward here for the reasons lost lots of its working class seats like Lees, Greater Manchester, [INAUDIBLE], in Wales, and of course, Workington up in the Lake District. This matters because there's going to be a big battle over the next 24 hours about whether Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, should resign now or at some point later. Given the sheer scale of Labour's defeat, the pressure on Mr Corbyn will be huge.
JEREMY CORBYN: I want to also make it clear that I will not leave the party in any future general election campaign. I will discuss with our party to ensure there is a process now of reflection on this result and on the policies that the party will take going forward.
SEBASTIAN PAYNE: It's 3:30 AM and we've just had two decisive moments on election night. First of all, Jeremy Corbyn. He's just been re-elected as the Labour MP for Islington north, but has announced he's standing down as party leader at some point in the near future. He's not going to quit straight away, though.
He wants to oversee the contest to replace him. Because Labour's defeat is so big tonight. His whole project, the Corbynism, politics that were in that manifesto is under threat. He'll want to try and have a big scene who his successor is to make sure the party doesn't swing back to the centre left.
The second moment then was Sedgefield. That's the constituency wants represented by Tony Blair for almost 25 years. That's gone to conservative for the first time since 1931. And really, that's what you need to know about the results tonight.
Jeremy Corbyn's leadership is at an end. It has failed to win a majority from the British people. And Meanwhile, the conservatives are eating into Labour's traditional heartlands.