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An Evening in Uxbridge, with Elmo, Lord Buckethead and Boris Johnson

We were there to measure the mood at the count when the election results in the Prime Minister's constituency were read out.
13 December 2019, 9:31am
boris johnson next elmo on election night
Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire/PA Images

Violence and heckling marred the counts in Hillingdon, where it would be revealed who had won Boris Johnson's constituency of Uxbridge and South Ruislip.

Spectators could be heard calling Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell a "terrorist" during his victory speech in Hayes and Harlington, before a punch was thrown in the audience. A good start.

Next, attention turned to Uxbridge and South Ruislip. Elmo, Lord Buckethead and Count Binface all took to the stage, next to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Labour candidate Ali Milani. Labour supporters had hoped Milani would provide some consolation to the party's dire place in the exit polls by unseating the so-called "absentee MP", Johnson, after weeks of campaigning in the constituency by both Milani and multiple groups encouraging voters to oust the Prime Minister.

Speculation before the announcement suggested an upset was possible, but in the end the 26-year-old lost out by over 7,000 votes.

Andrew Smith, an advisor to Mr Milani, was shocked by the scenes during the counts. He said: "I'm old enough to remember the 70s, when we were fighting fascism on the streets and we had the National Front and the BNP. Thankfully the world moved on and that dissipated, but I think in these times of nationalism we are seeing that rise again. I'm only hopeful that hope will prevail and our future will be better."

Smith bemoaned the focus on Brexit during this election, but said there were reasons to be optimistic, despite the defeat.

"I think the national trend has overridden so many local and social issues," he explained. "We have tried to talk about hope and the future and the NHS, but unfortunately, the Conservative Party have continued to concentrate on Brexit. It has become a Brexit election, and the future of the country has been sacrificed for the sake of Boris Johnson’s pride.

"I've been part of Milani's campaign team and I think we've run a fantastic, clean campaign. The support we've had from across the country is a sign that hope is there and that we will prevail in the future. We need to go away and analyse what has happened. Then we need to organise and make sure that the message of hope for the future gets through.

"We cannot get side-tracked by a single 'get Brexit done' slogan, which actually doesn't really mean anything. Brexit has still got to be done – it will be years in turmoil until it's all resolved. We need to go away and look at what we can do to convince the people to think about the future."

The Labour candidate standing for election in Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner was also concerned about how the Conservative victory could affect the UK.

Peymana Assad said: "The reason why I was able to succeed in my life was because I grew up under a Labour government. I am heart-broken that millions across this country will not be lifted out of poverty like I was. While tonight has not been our night here and across the country, we cannot and will not give up.

"I am genuinely scared about the future of our country. As an ethnic minority, as a young woman and as a Muslim. I am scared because I've seen the rhetoric in this general election. It's also the reason why we cannot give up. We have to fight for a better future. One that does not divide communities."

Still, rallying calls to fight for the future could not overcome the sombre mood among Labour supporters, watching on as the Conservatives secured their largest majority since Margaret Thatcher was in power.

@rhysnoye_allen

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