As the dust settles on one of the defining elections in a generation, attention now turns to how a newly invigorated Conservative government will deliver on its promises and start to heal a still deeply divided nation.
So, with the largest parliamentary majority since the Blair years under his belt, what can we expect now, Boris?
We all know that scrawled at the top of Boris’ to-do list is “get Brexit done” – something he almost certainly won’t be able to cross off anytime soon. But it was the Conservatives’ ability to distil the greatest challenge facing the country into a simple three-word phrase that ultimately won them the election, and now the country will be looking clear evidence of it getting “done”.
Near the top of that same list will be a long list of infrastructure commitments and tough decisions to be made on issues such as HS2. The question now is whether Boris’ government can deliver on these promises.
It isn’t a simple question of trust, but of capacity. Front and centre of any spending will be the civil service who have, in recent years, been endlessly distracted by preparations for life outside of the EU, something that is unlikely to change.
It will take a lot of time and skill to manage the £100 billion of extra spending planned over the next five years and many commentators aren’t convinced the expertise exists to oversee it effectively.
Turning to parliament, a crop of fresh-faced Conservative MPs are taking up their seats in the House of Commons, many of them are all too aware of the significance of representing newly blue northern constituencies – the people they must now convince are no longer “left behind”.
Amid the rubble of the “red wall” there will be tremendous pressure to deliver tangible change for the people who have put their trust in Boris. I expect Labour’s long-established local party structures will quickly regroup and offer strong opposition to any new Conservative MPs finding themselves out in the cold.
We will have to wait and see what impact, if any, this unprecedented new swathe of MPs will have on the Government’s priorities.
Across the chamber, Labour’s 203 MPs are still licking their wounds as the party reflects on its worst election result since 1935.
As the blame game roars on, the Labour leadership battle is heating up, with at least five clear contenders emerging from across the spectrum.
For party members, the choice is not a simple one. They must select a new leader who can reach beyond the Labour echo chamber and connect with voters who wouldn’t naturally align with them – as Blair did in 1997 and as Boris did last Thursday.
That’s a tall order for a party that has slumped to such an electoral low point and faced with the inevitable tussle between members, unions, Momentum and an emboldened national executive committee.
If Labour fails to find the goldilocks candidate, it is likely to be facing 10 years of Conservative rule, especially if scrapping the Fixed Term Parliament Act is still on Boris’ to-do list.
Despite the many unknowns, one thing is for sure, in the coming weeks Boris will define a clear direction for the country. Whether people like what that brings or not, the loud and clear message from the electorate, and business, is that they craved certainty, and a big Conservative majority will bring clarity, for now.
Ashley Rudge is a senior account manager at Camargue