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Tuesday 6 June 2023 Dublin: 14°C
Andrew Matthews
The reaction, as it happened: Johnson says he's 'humbled' by support of former Labour voters as Tories claim massive majority
Stay with us for all the reaction as the Conservatives claim a thumping majority in the Commons.

IT’S BEEN A dramatic night – stay with us through the morning as the dust finally settles on Election 2019.

Daragh Brophy taking over liveblogging duties as‘s overnight team wander off to into the dark of the morning to ponder what meal to eat next. 

We’ll start with some big news – Jo Swinson is stepping down as Lib Dems leader. 

Swinson said in a statement: 

Tonight’s result is obviously hugely disappointing, in East Dunbartonshire, and across the whole country with Boris Johnson winning a majority.

I am proud that in this campaign, the Liberal Democrats have stood up for openness, generosity and hope. We were honest about what we believe in and what we were trying to achieve.

This is clearly a setback for liberal values. But there are millions of people across the country who believe in them. By coming together to fight for them, we can create a positive future.

She’s only been in charge since July this year. 

Sinn Féin have claimed another seat. 

Donald Trump has congratulated Boris Johnson on his “great win” and said the UK and US would be free to strike a “massive” new trade deal after Brexit.

The American president said the agreement had the potential to be “far bigger and more lucrative” than any deal which could have been made with the European Union.

What does the latest Sinn Féin win mean for the North?

Our reporter Dominic McGrath has been taking a closer look in this piece – here’s how it opens:

WITH ALL OF the results declared in the North’s 18 constituencies, the DUP has emerged as the biggest casualty of the election.

Yet while other parties enjoyed major successes – Alliance and the SDLP in particular – the prospect of a Boris Johnson majority means that the Northern Irish MPs can no longer hold the balance of power in Westminster.

Northern Ireland, which experts say will be hit worst by Brexit, now seems destined to be pushed to the periphery of the debate.

This doesn’t mean the election isn’t highly significant. For the first time, nationalist parties will more MPs than unionist parties – a major shift in the North’s politics.

But Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald, whose party enjoyed a major coup in North Belfast against Nigel Dodds as well as a crushing defeat in Foyle, put it best at around 4am on Friday morning.

“As it turns out, nobody is going to stop Boris. As we had said, unfortunately no Irish MPs can stop Brexit,” Mary Lou McDonald said.

Oh, that’s not Boris Johnson. That’s Michael Gove.

One of Johnson’s deputies – who famously “stabbed him in the back” after the Brexit referendum – is speaking first.

“Today, we celebrate a victory for the British people,” he says. He says voters comprehensively rejected Jeremy Corbyn’s politics of “division, extremism and anti-semitism”. 

Gove claims Jewish people had been living in fear of a Corbyn government. “You will never have to live in fear again,” he says.

He’s effusive in his praise of Boris Johnson, and every sentence is clapped.

Gove lists the former safe Labour seats that the Conservatives won.

“Under Boris’ leadership, we’re truly a party for the whole nation,” he says.

He also says the NHS will “at last” receive the funding it deserves. 

I’ve lost count of how many times Gove has praised Boris Johnson. 

“And before we welcome the prime minister to the stage…” he says before stopping mid-sentence and walking away.


We’re expecting Johnson to speak soon. 

Boris Johnson is speaking at that press conference now. 

Johnson says politicians have squandered the last three years – even “arguing about arguing”. 

“I will put an end to all that nonsense and we will get Brexit done by the end of January,” he says (to no-one’s great surprise). 

No ifs or buts, he adds.  

Johnson said he was “humbled” by the support of former Labour voters, telling the press conference: 

Your hand may have quivered over the ballot paper before you put your cross in the Conservative box and you may intend to return to Labour next time round.

Restating his campaign promises with gusto – occasionally even pausing, Robbie Williams-style – to let the audience finish the line, he told the crowd the UK would be “carbon neutral by 2050 and Corbyn neutral by Christmas”. 

He ended the address by saying: 

Let’s get Brexit done. But first let’s get breakfast done.

This just in from Simon Coveney:

After an SNP surge and a DUP collapse, Irish unity and Scottish independence are matters back the fore following Boris Johnson’s election victory. 

Scottish First Minister Nicole Sturgeon is set to write to the Prime Minister before Christmas to formally demand Holyrood be given the power to hold a second vote on independence with Sinn Féin believing Brexit offers fresh opportunities for a United Ireland if Remain-supporting Northern Ireland is taken out of the EU against its will.

Here’s more on what the UK election means for Scotland and Ireland

As Britain wakes up to a Conservative victory, the UK press has given their reaction to what Boris Johnson has called a “historic” general election. 

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We made a special episode of The Explainer podcast. Stick in your earphones, and it will bring you up to speed on everything you need to know. 

Recorded this morning as the final results were coming in, we’re joined by TUD lecturer and polling expert Dr Kevin Cunningham along with staff Ronan Duffy, Dominic McGrath and Christine Bohan, who were following the events overnight.

We give you the low-down on everything you need to know about this election. We look at whether the polls got it right; how Northern Ireland now has more nationalist MPs than unionist MPs; and how this was an unusually siloed election, with the main parties focusing on the issues important to them rather than engaging with each other. 


The Explainer / SoundCloud

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