- The official exit poll points to a huge majority for Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party
- Johnson is on course to win the party’s biggest parliamentary majority for decades with the opposition Labour party on course for its worst result in a century.
- The result, if borne out, will give Johnson the freedom to radically change Britain’s future outside the EU.
- It kills off any prospect of Britain’s exit from the EU being prevented.
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The official exit poll published on Thursday evening suggests that Boris Johnson is on course for the largest Conservative majority for decades, with the opposition Labour party set for their worst result in a century.
If borne out in the official results, it will mean the UK is on course to leave the EU by the end of January 2020 with all hopes of a second referendum on Brexit now dead and gone.
It will also mean the likely end of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour party, with the UK set for at least a decade more of Conservative dominance.
For Britain’s pro-Europeans it is a bleak and heavy defeat and means that the UK is heading for a radically different economic and political settlement outside of the EU.
With such a large majority, the terms of that settlement will be decided almost entirely by the prime minister, without fear of either Brexit hardliners or pro-Europeans in his party holding him back.
The single ray of light for those who have campaigned against a hard Brexit is that this freedom will allow Johnson to opt for a softer form of exit from the EU than he had previously campaigned for.
Johnson is a mercurial politician who has repeatedly shifted his position on the EU over the years and may well opt to maintain a closer relationship with the EU than he has promised.
However, while a majority may free Johnson up to soften his Brexit plans, it could also free him up to significantly harden them.
The choice will ultimately be his and his alone.
After years in which Conservative prime ministers have seen their plans dictated by a divided parliament, this exit poll suggests that the power to decide Britain’s future will now be firmly back in the hands of 10 Downing Street.
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