Welcome, here is your free article


Every week, The Week hand-selects the most important news stories and expertly edits them together in one fascinating read. For more excellent, distilled content like this, get your FREE issue today »

General election results: Six big surprises no one expected

General election results: Six big surprises no one expected

Yesterday's polling resulted in a night full of shocks - some tragic, some comic.


After months of polls suggesting the Tories were comfortably ahead, this morning's election result was a shocker.

Instead of the increased majority she gambled for, Theresa May now has too few MPs to govern without help from another party.

Here are some of the other big election surprises:

Canterbury goes Labour – and Kensington?

Canterbury has had a Tory MP since it was created as a constituency in 1918, but last night there appeared a spot of red within the mostly-blue Kent county with the victory of Labour's Rosie Duffield. Kent Live believes the result was down to students keen to see Labour scrap tuition fees. Duffield also promised to fight for a local hospital, which her predecessor Sir Julian Brazier was seen as neglecting.

Labour could deliver a further shock in Kensington, London, which was always thought to be a safe Tory seat. The initial count gave the party a 50-vote victory, but recounts have been inconclusive and the seat has not been declared. Council tellers will return to the count later today after being given time to go home and sleep.

Tory surge shakes SNP in Scotland

Nicola Sturgeon's SNP expected to lose a few seats in this election – the party could never hope to repeat its success of 2015, which it won 56 out of 59 seats in Scotland - but the scale of the drop-off in support has astonished analysts.

Many of the party's 21 losses are gains for Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson, arguably Britain's most successful Tory today. Her party won 13 seats north of the border, its best performance since 1983, while Labour has seven and the Lib Dems won four. However, the SNP remains the dominant party.

Young people get out of bed

While there was huge support for Jeremy Corbyn from the country's youth, there was scepticism that their historic poor turnout would change. One Tory candidate told Huffington Post: "Under 30s love Corbyn but they don't care enough to get off their lazy a***s to vote for him." However, turnout among 18 to 24-year-olds rocketed from 43 per cent in 2015 to 66.4 per cent yesterday, according to Sky News, with many voting for 68-year-old Corbyn, suggesting all the "brunching with grime stars in hipster cafes" had paid off, says the Daily Telegraph.

Clegg, Salmond and Robertson are scalped

After holding on to his Sheffield Hallam constituency in the 2015 election, an otherwise disastrous event for the party, former Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg lost his seat to Labour last night. Visibly emotional after 12 years in the job, the politician said serving the consituency had been the "greatest privilege" of his career.

In Scotland, meanwhile, former SNP leader Alex Salmond and current deputy leader Angus Robertson both lost their seats to the Tory surge, while in London, Tory housing minister Gavin Barwell, who once wrote a book titled How to Win a Marginal Seat, lost his Croydon Central seat to Labour.

Vince Cable and Ed Davey bounce back...

Former coalition business secretary Sir Vince Cable waltzed back to parliament with a comfortable 9,762 majority in Twickenham, a seat he lost two years ago to Tory Tania Mathias, while his Lib Dem colleague and former Cabinet minister Ed Davey achieved the same feat in Kingston and Surbiton.

...and so does Zac Goldsmith

It was one of the narrowest comebacks imaginable for Conservative Zac Goldsmith, who won his old seat of Richmond Park back from Lib Dem Sarah Olney by 45 votes. Goldsmith resigned as an MP in October last year over the proposed new runway at Heathrow and stood as an independent in the by-election before returning to the Tories.

More free articles from
The Week magazine

6 week FREE trial - Try The Week today
Can Macron solve France's economic riddle?

His austerity measures seem to be winning votes, but is that enough for the French President to get his reforms through?

Read the full article here »
First lady Melania: 7 things you didn't know about Donald Trump's wife

From nude photo shoots and a creepy phone call to a $100,000 wedding dress and a secret half-brother

Read the full article here »
Free money for everyone?

The idea that government should scrap welfare payments and give everyone a basic income is becoming increasingly popular

Read the full article here »
Burma's persecuted muslims

The fate of a million Rohingya in Burma is causing international uproar, and endangering the country’s path to democracy

Read the full article here »
Bibi Netanyahu: Israel’s divisive saviour

Israel’s ninth prime minister, first elected in 1996, has just won an unprecedented fourth term

Read the full article here »
We hope you enjoyed your free article from The Week magazine.

Try a FREE issue today and enjoy getting to know the whole magazine. Enter your details below.

Try a FREE issue of The Week.

Fill in the form below and a representative will call you to arrange delivery.