A remarkable set of election results across the UK

News Letter editorial
News Letter editorial
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The election results across the United Kingdom have shaken the two main parties to the core.

Both Labour and the Conservatives received derisory votes, particularly the latter.

Some 70%+ of voters did not support either the governing party of the opposition.

In the case of Labour, it seems that the electorate was unimpressed with its complete confusion on the matter: does it support a permanent customs union? A second referendum? Does it support Brexit, as it told voters it did in the last general election?

In the case of the Conservative government,Tory voters were unimpressed that the UK did not leave the European Union on March 29 as promised, and that the proposed route for leaving — the Withdrawal Agreement — did not offer the Brexit promised in the Conservative manifesto of 2017, of leaving both the customs union and single market.

It is hard to see a way out of this mess. The Tories will soon have anew leader, but that person, whoever it is, will struggle to keep the party together and fend off a general election. Even if they do manage that they will not have the numbers in the House of Commons easily to pass any Brexit deal.

In Northern Ireland, the Alliance Party has had an undeniably successful vote, with over 105,000 first preference votes.

But it is the context of that vote which makes it so impressive. In most elections it remains below the SDLP and UUP who are seen to be doing badly. Even so, Naomi Long clearly deserves congratulations for her huge triumph.

For Danny Kennedy, it is commiserations. A popular and dedicated politician, he thinks his career is now over.

Diane Dodds polled very well, and almost beat Martina Anderson in first preferences. She was, after transfers, the first MEP to be elected.

But the unionist vote of 43% is not an impressive one. At least exploring some sort of unionist unity or co-operation is now going to be a more urgent task than ever.