The general election is a clear victory for the Conservatives. Seats are still declaring, but a near-majority is predicted for the party, with Labour trailing drastically behind. It is very likely David Cameron will return to Downing Street as Prime Minister.
At the time of writing, the Conservatives are predicted to win 329 seats – enough to form a majority. Labour trails behind, with a forecast of 233 seats. But the vote share shows the discrepancy between seats and votes, with the Conservatives currently on 35 per cent of votes, and Labour on 33 per cent.
This shock result is far removed from months of polls suggesting an inevitable hung parliament.
It has been a disastrous night for Labour, which has lost all but one of its Scottish seats so far to the SNP. There has been an extraordinary 39 per cent swing from Labour to the SNP in Scotland. Labour currently has the same number of MPs in Scotland as the Tories have: one.
It has been a better night for Labour in London, gaining seats such as Bermondsey, Hornsey, Ealing Central and Ilford North.
Ed Miliband has all but conceded defeat, referring in his Doncaster North speech the “huge responsibility” that “the next government” would have “in keeping our country together” – an admission that he will not lead it. He added that he would “go to London to await the full results”. Once those are in, he will resign and another Labour leadership contest will begin.
The Lib Dem vote has collapsed. They currently only have six seats, with just one left in London, and many of their most senior figures have lost their seats. Nick Clegg held on to Sheffield Hallam, which some polls suggested he wouldn’t, but also hinted at a resignation, calling the election a “cruel and punishing night” for the Liberal Democrats, and saying he will be “seeking to make further remarks” about the implications of this election for his party, “and my position in the Liberal Democrats”.
A number of key politicians have lost their seats:
– Shadow chancellor Ed Balls loses by 422 to Tory candidate Andrea Jenkyns.
– Labour’s election campaign chief and shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander lost to a 20-year-old student SNP candidate
– Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy lost to the SNP; Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander lost to the SNP
– Former Lib Dem leader Charles Kennedy was beaten by the SNP
– Lib Dem Energy Secretary Ed Davey lost to the Tories, as did Lib Dem Business Secretary Vince Cable
– Lib Dem ministers Jo Swinson and Lynne Featherstone lost their seats to the SNP and Labour respectively.
– Senior Lib Dems Simon Hughes and David Laws have also lost, to Labour and the Tories respectively.
– Respect’s George Galloway lost to Labour candidate Naz Shah in Bradford West.