Prime Minister David Cameron and the Conservative Party he leads, won a surprise victory in yesterday’s UK elections. The victory has left the opposing Liberal Democrat and Labour parties scrambling.
With this win Cameron will remain Prime Minister for another five years. He originally assumed the role in 2010 following his victory over then Labour Party leader Gordon Brown.
This year’s elections were originally predicted to be too close too call, but Cameron and the Tories (Conservative Party) swept at the last moment.
With less than two dozen seats yet to be declared in the 650-seat house, the Conservatives were on course for an overall majority to govern alone for the first time since 1992. They could also ask a small party to join them in government if they fall a few seats short.
The margin of victory was a surprise even to Cameron, who said he “never quite believed we’d get to the end of this campaign in the place we are now.”
A majority would mean Cameron no longer needs the Liberal Democrats, with which he has governed since 2010. The center-left party, heir to one of the most storied liberal parties in Europe, was crushed, perhaps reduced to single digits after winning 57 seats five years ago.
“This is the sweetest victory of all,” Cameron proclaimed in his victory speech. “The real reason to celebrate tonight, the real reason to be proud, the real reason to be excited is we are going to get the opportunity to serve our country again….I want my party – and, I hope, a government I would like to lead – to reclaim a mantle we should never have lost, the mantle of one nation, one United Kingdom.”
Following the win, three party leaders resigned including Ed Miliband of the Labour Party, and Nick Clegg of the Liberal Democrats.
Even with the certainty of the Tories’ victory, their newly formed government faces a great deal of uncertainty such as Scotland’s still simmering independence movement, and whether or not the UK will stay in the European Union.