Political scientist: Johnson's election win stemmed from Brexit fatigue

Estonian political scientist Andres Kasekamp.
Estonian political scientist Andres Kasekamp. Source: Andres Kasekamp/private library

The Conservative Party winning Thursday's general election in the United Kingdom stemmed from people being fed up with the confusing situation, according to political scientist Andres Kasekamp.

"Throughout his election campaign, [Conservative Party leader Boris] Johnson stressed that the Conservative would be able to carry out Brexit quickly," Kasekamp, a professor at the University of Tartu, told BNS. "Johnson bet on the fact that the Brexit referendum was held three and a half years ago, and residents of the U.K. are fed up with the still ongoing confusing situation."

According to the political scientist, the Tory leader's main message to the British people was to get Brexit done quickly, and British voters have now given him the opportunity to do so.

"Making this promise was easy, but Johnson's situation is about to get much more difficult," he said. "Withdrawing from the EU is the easy part of Brexit. Negotiating over future cooperation formats and the organization of trade, however, will be a much more complex and time-consuming process."

The fact of the matter, Kasekamp stressed, is that the U.K. needs the EU and vice versa, noting that close relations would undoubtedly continue after Brexit as well, but that there is no political consensus in the U.K. on how they should be organized.

"Johnson can also thank Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn for his victory," he continued, adding that, in his opinion, the latter represented his party's most old-fashioned left wing, which likely deterred centrist and moderate voters who feared that a Labour win may have entailed a sharp left turn in the British economy.

"Corbyn remained rather neutral in terms of Brexit, and this probably created confusion among those voters who would have otherwise voted Labour," Kasekamp said. "Voters were struggling to understand where the Labour Party stands in terms of U.K.-EU relations."


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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