This was the day optimism and belief triumphed over cynicism and despair. When tolerance and moderation overcame extremism and rank bigotry.
And compassionate One-Nation Conservatism vanquished the malign Labour blueprint for class war, conflict and national ruin.
Defying miserable winter weather, the dauntless voters of Middle Britain turned out in force and swept Boris Johnson back into Number 10 on a surging tide of hope and expectation.
Simultaneously, they banished Jeremy Corbyn and the spiteful Marxist cult around him to the political wilderness, where they belong. A glad, confident morning all round.
Boris Johnson ,pictured arriving back at Number 10 on December 13, swept Labour’s ‘Red Wall’ of constituencies
The Corbynistas had certainly talked up their chances of breaking through. But when it came to the crunch, the great British public was just too decent and too sensible to allow a man like Mr Corbyn to get his eager hands on the levers of power.
They refused to be bribed with his risible false promises of free everything, with only the idle rich having to foot the bill.
Nor were they prepared to stomach the anti-Semitism and sheer nastiness that courses unchecked through today’s Labour Party.
They just said, No! This newspaper salutes their impeccable judgment.
For Mr Johnson himself, it was a towering personal triumph.
It was not simply that the Tories won a landslide. It was how and where they won it.
In a genuine reconfiguration of Britain’s political landscape, Mr Johnson took a wrecking-ball to the ‘red wall’ of Labour seats across the North, the Midlands and Wales.
From Wrexham to Workington, Blyth Valley to Bolsover, the Pennines to the Potteries, the Black Country to the Yorkshire Ridings, traditional Labour voters put their faith in a Tory leader — many for the first time. Bishop Auckland in County Durham and Leigh in Lancashire turned blue for the first time in a century. Great Grimsby, a Labour stronghold since the War, returned a Conservative majority of more than 7,000.
Even Margaret Thatcher in her pomp had never taken these constituencies. This was truly a seismic event.
The Mail has always believed Mr Johnson had the charm and intellect to be a unifying figure — sowing the seed of hope in communities that have been neglected and left behind by our political class.
And so it has proved. If we and our brilliant readers have played any part in helping secure the biggest Tory majority since 1987, we couldn’t be more proud.
For make no mistake, this was a watershed moment. It is no exaggeration to say our economic survival was on the line.
The financial incontinence of a Corbyn-led government would have beggared this country in months.
It was telling on Thursday night that as soon as the exit poll figures were announced, the pound soared against both the dollar and euro. By yesterday morning the stock market had followed suit.
The City of London predicted that ‘a wall of investment’ was ready to be ploughed into British business.
As the threat of Corbyn was crushed, confidence in our country’s economic future came rushing back.
In a gracious victory speech, Mr Johnson acknowledged that many previously diehard Labour voters would have found it difficult to trust him and had merely ‘lent’ him their vote.
He swore that he would work ‘night and day’ to honour their faith. ‘Those people want change,’ he said. ‘We cannot, must not, let them down.’
In what has been the defining phrase of this campaign, he promised to get Brexit done by January 31, then address ‘all the other priorities you voted for’.
Priorities like the NHS and social care, schools funding, carbon reduction, our ageing infrastructure and — crucially — the economic imbalance between London and the regions (‘Unite and level up’, as he put it). It was classic One-Nation stuff. He told his new army of supporters: ‘Your voice has been heard.’ He must now deliver. They will be watching.
While the Tory performance in England and Wales was positively barnstorming, in Scotland it was unquestionably a disappointment.
They lost seven of their 13 seats, as the Scottish National Party made substantial gains.
No doubt Nicola Sturgeon will soon be clamouring for another independence referendum.
Yet the picture is more complex than she likes to pretend.
Many Scots will have voted SNP out of perfectly understandable anger and frustration at the incompetence of the Commons over the past three years. This doesn’t necessarily mean they have a burning desire to smash up the union.
Indeed, at 45 per cent, the SNP had exactly the same vote share on Thursday as in the 2014 referendum — which, of course, they lost. Why should it be any different now?
For Mr Johnson, the best way to counter calls for independence is for Westminster to govern well on behalf of all the citizens of this United Kingdom, whether Scottish, English, Welsh or Northern Irish.
With a thumping 80-seat majority, he has the opportunity to do just that. He must not fail.
The Liberal Democrats, meanwhile, suffered a deeply humiliating election. Their total of MPs fell and leader Jo Swinson was defenestrated. The party’s shrill, anti-democratic call for Brexit to be revoked without even the need for a second referendum was utterly repudiated by the electorate.
For the Lib Dems’ arrogance and contempt, they received the drubbing they fully deserved.
Given the size of the Tory majority, all talk of cancelling Brexit or holding a ‘People’s Vote’ must surely now be redundant.
To his great credit, however, Mr Johnson recognised that Remain voters would be distressed by this harsh reality. In a spirit of rapprochement, he urged them to ‘find closure’ and promised to maintain and foster close ties with our European neighbours post-Brexit.
‘Let the healing begin,’ he said.
The truth is that his tone has been unfailingly amicable. He hasn’t been remotely triumphalist (just imagine the gloating and menace of the hard Left if Mr Corbyn had made it). Rather, he has been the soul of conciliation.
In being so, he gives an inkling of the sort of Prime Minister he wants to be.
For all Labour’s absurd attempts to paint him as some sort of Right-wing ideologue, Mr Johnson is the very model of a liberal Conservative. Which is exactly what the country needs at this moment.
There has been a distinct mood change over recent times — much of it emanating from the young. It is a mood of positivity, of concern for the environment, of community service.
Jeremy Corbyn, pictured leaving from the back door of Islington Town Hall on December 13, and the Marxist cult around him have been banished to the political wilderness
This paper has witnessed its force. We were humbled this time last year by the overwhelming response to our appeal for NHS volunteers.
Our readers have played a major role in reducing and cleaning up plastic pollution.
And most recently, the response of readers to our campaign to plant a million trees has been incredible.
It is a mood the Prime Minister hopes to harness in what he wants to be a ‘People’s Government’. After all the discord, perhaps some harmony at last.
The Mail has always believed in the wisdom, discernment and compassion of Middle England.
In this election it has roared its disapproval of Jeremy Corbyn and placed its collective faith in Mr Johnson, not just to get Brexit done but to move past it and build a better, fairer, freer Britain. To use responsible free-market capitalism as an engine of prosperity for all.
It is an awesome task. But if he carries on the way he has started, Mr Johnson just might be the one to pull it off.