May 8, 2015, 2:52 p.m.
The surprising final results of yesterday’s House of Commons elections in the United Kingdom indicate that the Conservatives (Tories) will be able to form a majority government after winning 331 out of 650 seats. The results came as a shock to many who had predicted a close race, including defeated Labour leader Ed MILIBAND, Liberal Democrat leader Nick CLEGG, and UKIP leader Nigel FARGE, who have all since resigned from their positions as party chiefs. In the final tally, the Conservatives won 331 seats, Labour won 232 seats, the Scottish National Party won 56 seats, the Liberal Democrats won 8 seats, UKIP won 1 seat, and other parties won 23 seats. Nationwide, the Conservatives won 36.9% of the vote, Labour won 30.4% of the vote, UKIP won 12.6% of the vote, the Liberal Democrats won 7.9% of the vote, the Scottish National Party won 4.7% of the vote, and the Green Party won 3.8% of the vote. The Liberal Democrats suffered the greatest losses compared to past elections, suffering a 49 seat net loss, followed by Labour with a net loss of 26. Overall voter turnout was 66.1% (30,698,210 of a registered 46,425,386), the highest since 1997. The win has ensured that the anticipated referendum promised by Prime Minister David Cameron on the UK’s continued EU membership will go forward before the end of 2017.
One of the most drastic shifts in voting patterns since 2010 can be seen in Scotland. The Labour Party, which had previously dominated the region, lost 40 seats in the election while the previously marginal Scottish National Party gained 50 seats in this election. Voter turnout in Scotland was also higher than anywhere else in the UK, reaching 71.1% (2,910,465 of the 4,094,784 registered voters). The resounding victory of the Scottish National Party—which ultimately won 56 of the 59 Scottish single-member districts—has led many to believe that another independence referendum may well be on the horizon.