British Prime Minister David Cameron will return to 10 Downing Street. Of the 650 parliamentary constituencies for the House of Commons, Cameron’s Tory Party bested Labor by taking 330 seats in Parliament to Labor’s 232, giving the Conservative Party a majority in the House of Commons for the first time in over 20 years. One seat in the Commons has yet to be determined.
On his victory, from 10 Downing, Cameron said:
“Together we can make Great Britain greater still. We will govern as a party of one nation, one United Kingdom.”
Polls leading up to election day predicted a slender victory for Opposition Leader Ed Miliband’s Labor; however, exit polls uncovered significant gains for the Scottish National Party (SNP), effectively eliminating Labor’s chances to seize a majority in Parliament. Among the electoral carnage, Labor’s Ed Miliband, Lib-Dem leader, Nick Clegg and UKIP’s Nigel Farage have resigned their leadership positions; and Tory Minister of Employment, Esther McVey, a key cabinet ally of Cameron, lost her seat in Wirral West.
Late last night, as polling stations closed, numerous exit polls predicted a “hung Parliament,” which would have required Cameron to build a coalition government or heading a “minority government,” where Cameron would lead by preventing Tory defections on key votes and seeking out individual Members of Parliament from smaller opposition parties for support, all while outmaneuvering Labor.
A key component of Cameron’s re-election master plan was his refusal to face Labor’s Ed Miliband in a one-on-one debate, something which Miliband repeatedly demanded of Cameron.
Challenges remain: Cameron campaigned on the his stewardship of the UK’s economy and his commitment to satisfy protestations in Wales and Scotland for increased independence. While the UK’s economic growth appears stable, Scotland recently survived a tissue-thin referendum on independence, the SNP swept Scotland and there is growing anti-European Union (EU) sentiment.
Cameron’s status will be tested with his suggested re-negotiations with the EU regarding the UK’s present role in the European alliance and a proposed EU referendum, the in/out, which will determine the fate of the UK as a member in the EU scheduled for late 2017.
[Reuters] [BBC] [RT]