The results are in . . .
Boris Johnson and the Conservative Party have won with a big majority.
It seems it was a Brexit election after all, with many Leave constituencies, once Labour strongholds, swinging to the Conservatives. In the seats that had a Leave vote of over 60%, the Conservative Party increased its support by on average 6%. In Remain seats, the party’s vote fell by 3%.
Although Labour remains the biggest party in Wales with 22 seats, the Conservative Party has been the real winner on the night, turning all but one of the North Wales arc blue. In total, Labour lost six seats to the Conservatives, including Bridgend which has not seen a Tory MP since 1987.
This win of course hasn’t been confined to Wales. Across the UK, the Tories have won their biggest majority since the 1980s.
The full results:
- Conservative Party – 364 (+47 from 2017)
- Labour Party – 203 (-59)
- SNP – 48 (+13)
- Liberal Democrats – 11 (-1)
- DUP – 8 (-2)
- Others – 15 (+2)
- Labour Party – 22 (-6)
- Conservative Party – 14 (+6)
- Liberal Democrats – 0 (-1)
- Plaid Cymru – 4 (+/-0)
So what does this mean for housing associations in Wales?
Housing is devolved to Wales, but powers relating to welfare policy and negotiations over leaving the European Union are retained by Westminster.
Getting Brexit done will now be a priority for Johnson. The Prime Minister has stated that this means no more renegotiations and no further referendums. The Conservatives will be looking to put a deal through Parliament in order to leave the European Union by January.
The Conservative manifesto pledges to get a fair deal post-Brexit for Wales with major investments in infrastructure and industry.
As well as prioritising Brexit, the NHS, police, and immigration, the manifesto also pledges to reach net zero by 2050 with investment in clean energy solutions and green infrastructure to reduce carbon emissions and pollution. With Wales looking to decarbonise its entire housing stock by retrofitting to achieve EPC Band A by 2050, this commitment by a Tory government could support Wales with reaching its targets.
CHC is now calling on the next UK Government to:
- Ensure that investment in social housing remains a priority across the whole of the UK
- Reform of Universal Credit
- Ensure Wales retains existing levels of regional funding following a departure from the EU
Read an in-depth briefing here.