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EXIT polls have suggested a Tory landslide, with Leave-voting areas switching away from Labour according to predictions.
A visibly shocked John McDonnell told the BBC that “Brexit has dominated” the election, as polls suggested a 86 seat majority for the Tories.
"We thought other issues could cut through and there would be a wider debate, from this evidence there clearly wasn't,” the shadow chancellor said.
If the actual result resembles the prediction, Labour will lose 52 seats, putting it on course for its worst result in terms of seats since 1935 following its decision to campaign for a second referendum on EU membership.
Many are in the north-east of England, constituencies which voted predominantly for Leave, such as historical mining constituency Blyth Valley.
Mr McDonnell added that he had doubts “Brexit will be done as a result of this.”
“I think what will happen... people, I think, almost in despair, wanted to get Brexit over and done with because they’ve had enough of what’s been going on."
Shadow justice secretary Richard Burgeon also suggested that Brexit dictated the vote.
He Tweeted: “If, as it seems, this was a Brexit election then the next one won’t be given Johnson’s Thatcherite agenda.”
But he vowed to continue the fight against the Tories.
His fighting spirit was shared by shadow education minister Angela Rayner who said: “I know the exit poll is incredibly devastating but we will continue to keep faith in our great movement and the UK.”
She also thanked the volunteers, staff and activists for “working their socks off” for a Labour government.
According to the exit poll politicians including Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson have lost their seats.
Mr McDonnell warned that the result would put “the most right-wing extreme cabinet that we’ve seen in our history” in power who would have the mandate to introduce “reactionary policies.”
"If the electorate have decided this way, that’s democracy, you have to respect it,” he said. “But I don’t think it will bring the country together, I think it will be divided still.”
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