The Conservative Party Wins 2015 General Election
The Conservative Party has won the 2015 General Election with an outright majority. Results as of the afternoon of 8 May are:
- Conservatives – 329 (seats).
- Labour – 232
- Scottish National Party (SNP) – 56
- Liberal Democrats – 8
- Sinn Fein – 4
- Plaid Cymru – 3
- Social Democrat and Labour Party (SDLP) – 3
Ulster Unionist Party – 2
- United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) – 1
- Green Party – 1
- Others – 1
The most striking changes to the 2010 election are the increase in the Conservative vote, the rise of the SNP (more or less wiping out the previous Labour stronghold of Scotland), the massive upsurge in support for UKIP – resulting in UKIP becoming the third largest party by number of votes – and the collapse of the Liberal Democrats.
As expected, the SNP won all seats in Scotland bar 2. However, the proportion of support for UKIP has resulted in a dilution of Labour even in the most die-hard Labour seats in the North of England. The proportion of votes for the largest parties is as follows:
- Conservatives – 11,316,235 (36.9%)
- Labour – 9,342,814 (30.5%)
- UK Independence Party – 3,875,344 (12.6%)
- Liberal Democrats – 2,399,840 (7.8%)
- Scottish National Party – 1,454,436 (4.8%)
- Green Party – 1,153,098 (3.8%)
The greatest surprise is that the Conservatives have won an outright majority, against the predictions of pollsters. That majority is slim, but appears to be enough to avoid a coalition. It is the first time the Conservative Party has won a straight majority since 1992.
David Cameron has paid a visit to the Queen and announced his attention to form the next government, which has been accepted.
He gave a short speech outside Number 10, Downing Street, during the afternoon:
As well as reiterating longstanding policies of making Britain a good place for people to live and work, the Prime Minister said he would deliver an in-out referendum on Britain’s position within the European Union. He also said, ‘We will govern as a party of one nation, one United Kingdom. That means ensuring this recovery reaches all parts of our country, from north to south, from east to west. And indeed it means rebalancing our economy.’ He said he would govern with respect, and would ensure devolution to the different nations of the United Kingdom were effectively pursued. ‘In Scotland, our plans are to create the strongest devolved government anywhere in the world, with important powers over taxation. And no constitutional settlement will be complete if it did not offer also fairness to England…. Together, we can make Great Britain, greater still.’
Ministerial and government appointments will be announced shortly.