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UK election: What are the possible outcomes for parliament?

The polls will stay open in the UK until 10pm tonight.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson casting his vote this morning with his dog Dilyn.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson casting his vote this morning with his dog Dilyn.
Image: Jonathan Brady

PEOPLE IN THE United Kingdom are casting their votes in a crucial general election today, with latest opinion polls showing Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a tight battle to win a majority and deliver his Brexit plans.

However, nothing can be truly determined until the polls close at 10pm tonight. Exit polls will then give a more accurate indication of what to expect. 

The results are mostly due to be announced in the early hours of tomorrow morning.

So far today, Prime Minister Boris Johnson broke from tradition by not voting in his own constituency. 

There have also been photos posted on social media of queues outside polling stations today in the hours since doors opened at 7am. 

Here are the possible outcomes for parliament after all the votes have been cast tonight. 

Conservative majority 

The Conservatives winning back the majority they lost in 2017 is the most likely result from the election, according to bookmakers and pollsters at the moment.

This appeared to be a comfortable lead a few days ago, but now looks to be more precarious following the release of a major new survey on Tuesday.

The YouGov poll indicated the expected Conservative majority would be slashed from 68 seats to 28 since the last survey at the end of November, with a hung parliament now within the margin of error.

There are 650 seats in the House of Commons. The poll takes 326 as the magic number for a majority, predicting the Tories will win 339 seats.

Due to Sinn Féin’s policy of not sending MPs to the British parliament, and with the speakers not normally involved in parliamentary votes, a working majority can actually be obtained with fewer seats.

In 2017, the Conservatives won 317 seats and went on to govern after striking a deal with the 10 Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) MPs.

Any kind of majority should allow Johnson to get his Brexit deal approved and agreed with Brussels, putting the UK on course to leave the European Union by 31 January.

general-election-2019 Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn casting his vote. Source: PA Wire/PA Images

Labour majority 

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn could defy the odds and secure a majority for his party. 

In this scenario, the UK would vote again on whether to leave the EU with the options being a softer Brexit deal negotiated by the Labour Party or remaining in the union.

A Labour victory would represent a major breakthrough on the global stage for the left-leaning movement backed by younger voters.

Hung parliament 

If no party achieves a working majority, then Britain would have another hung parliament, as in 2010 and 2017.

The Conservatives are still expected to win the most seats and, as incumbent, Johnson would remain prime minister and try to strike a deal with opposition parties, either to join a formal coalition or for them to agree to back him on crucial votes in an informal pact.

But he has few friends outside his own party and is unlikely to win the support of the DUP this time round as they are unhappy with his Brexit deal.

Johnson could then quit or try to go it alone in a minority government, which would require him to win key votes when parliament returns. 

He would be obliged to resign if his attempts failed.

Corbyn would likely then try to form a government, with the Scottish National Party (SNP) indicating they would back him if he agreed to a second Scottish independence referendum.

The Liberal Democrats could also be tempted by Labour’s commitment to a second Brexit referendum, but have so far “absolutely categorically” ruled out backing Corbyn, citing his radical economic agenda and allegations of anti-Semitism within the party.

Without them, Corbyn would probably fall short of forming a government or securing the backing needed to sustain a minority government.

Another election would be the only way to break the deadlock.

With reporting by Orla Dwyer and Press Association.

Will you be staying up to keep track of the election results?

At TheJournal.ie we’ll be liveblogging all night to bring you all the major developments as they happen. Before dawn on Friday we’ll break down exactly what you need to know about the results and the likely consequences for Brexit.

Our overnight team will also be bringing you a special early morning edition of our weekly The Explainer podcast on Friday – and if you’re a subscriber to our Brexit newsletter you can expect a bumper edition into your inbox too before your first coffee of the day has cooled. 

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