London: David Cameron, leader of the Conservative Party, led them to a clear majority in UK’s most hotly and closely-contested polls, as he vowed to hold a referendum on the country’s EU membership and quick devolution of powers to Scotland and Wales.
As the results rolled in, forecasts of a close contest with the opposition Labour party turned out to be wide of the mark, with Cameron winning a majority in parliament and securing five more years at 10 Downing Street.
Post the announcement of Cameroon’s win, Labour leader Ed Miliband resigned and so did Nick Clegg, leading to massive furore in the media and within the echelons of the parties.
In Scotland, the nationalist surge also proved larger than expected as the pro-independence Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) won 56 out of 59 seats when the final results came in, almost entirely wiping out the Labour party north of the border.
“This is clearly a very strong night for the Conservative party,” Cameron said after being re-elected to his Witney seat in southern England.
His Modi-style “Phir ek baar Cameron sarkar” slogan seems to have resonated with clear majority of 326 seats out of 650-member House of Commons.
Predictions of a neck-and-neck contest between the Conservative Party and Leader of the Opposition Ed Miliband- led Labour looked like being off the mark as the forecast, with well over half of the results in, was 329 seats for the Conservatives, 233 for Labour, Liberal Democrats at eight, the Scottish National Party (SNP) at 56, Plaid Cymru at three, UKIP at two with the Greens one and others 19.
According to the results declared so far, the Conservatives has won 326 seats, Labour tally stood at 230, SNP at 56, Liberal Democrats at 8, UKIP at 1 and others at 22.
Earlier, the exit poll had suggested the Tories will get 316 MPs to Labour’s 239 once all the results are in.
Cameron, 48, all but declared victory in a speech after being returned as MP for Witney, in which he set out his intention to press ahead with an in/out referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union and to complete the Conservatives’ economic plan.
“My aim remains simple — to govern on the basis of governing for everyone in our United Kingdom,” Cameron said.
Despite having warned against the threat of Scottish nationalism in Westminster during the campaign, he said now was the time to mend divisions between England and Scotland.
“Above all, I want to bring our country together, our United Kingdom, implementing as fast as we can devolution both for Wales and Scotland,” Cameron said.
“I want my party and a government I would like to lead to reclaim the mantle of one nation, one United Kingdom. That is how I will govern if I am fortunate enough to form a government,” he said.
Labour leader Miliband, who also won in Doncaster North, nearly conceded party defeat as he described the general election as “disappointing and difficult”.
In a massive loss, the Liberal Democrats, which had been in a coalition government with the Tories so far, were routed by the electorate, already losing 39 of its 57 seats won in the 2010 polls.
While Nick Clegg held on to his own Sheffield Hallam seat, some of the party’s heavyweights like Vince Cable and Simon Hughes suffered humiliating defeats.