Surprised by the general election result? Here's why we shouldn't be

So, Boris Johnson’s big gamble worked. 

His exhortation to ‘Get Brexit Done’ chimed with the desires of a nation which seems to be hankering to get it over and done with - and voters across the country handed him the mandate to finally effect Britain’s exit from the European Union. 

Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign focused on the NHS and Mr Johnson’s trustworthiness, but was negated by his own catastrophic personal ratings which saw Labour lose swathes of seats across its heartlands and has the party at its lowest ebb since before the second world war. 

Pound rockets as Boris Johnson's Conservatives win general election 2019

And the less said about the Liberal Democrats the better: leader Jo Swinson lost her East Dunbartonshire constituency to the Scottish National Party and the anti-leave opposition looks fatally fractured. Nicola Sturgeon has brought the nationalists back to the heights of 2015, taking 48 of the 59 seats and surely bringing forward the probability of another independence referendum.

The UK has turned blue and yellow. (PA)

The message

The relentless Tory focus on Brexit paid dividends as they sucked up all the Leave votes, making Nigel Farage a peripheral figure in the election after he stood down candidates in seats where the Conservatives were running.

Boris Johnson managed to maintain admirable message discipline throughout a long six-week election - it was only in the last week that he came a cropper in TV appearances over the NHS. His minders deserve medals for their ability to make the election solely about Brexit - but this could come back and bite Mr Johnson if he fails to deliver.

General Election 2019: The Conservative Party has won the election

By contrast, Jeremy Corbyn’s lack of clarity on Brexit - he was in favour of a second referendum but would remain neutral in his personal stance. Labour’s promises to spend hundreds of billions of pounds on nationalisation and other policies appeared not to pass muster with the electorate. Questions about antisemitism within the party dogged him throughout the campaign. 

The result is a staggering one for the Tories. (PA)

The Liberal Democrats came into the election boasting of capturing 100 seats and supplanting Labour as the main party of opposition. Instead their leader Jo Swinson, who was recorded by pollsters as losing popularity every time voters engaged with her, lost her own seat to the SNP and left behind a party which had contributed to Conservative party gains after splitting the anti-Tory vote.

What next?

Master of all he surveys, Boris Johnson is now able to push ahead with his plan to leave the European Union by the end of January 2020. His party is united behind him, every one of his MPs signed up to the plan for the dislocation with Europe by the end of January 2020. There is little opposition in his own party, which has been moulded in his own image, and he now has a mandate to pursue his own course on Europe.

For Jeremy Corbyn, the election marks the end of a chapter for Labour. The fairytale promises of the campaign, with billions of pounds pledged across the board for every and any part of the economy, evidently failed to connect with or convince voters. Corbyn is stepping down and the battle over the soul of the party will be engaged as the moderates who kept their heads down during the election return to the fray.