As dawn broke on Friday the 8th, the political effects of the night before were still being felt. In Scotland, the SNP had taken many of the seats, many held by Labour, while the Liberal Democrats faced a decimation of MPs to the single digits.
Key names like Vince Cable, Simon Hughes and Jo Swinson were defeated, while Alex Salmond returned to Westminster after an absence in the Gordon constituency, and Mhairi Black of the SNP, a student at the University of Glasgow who defeated Douglas Alexander in Paisley and Renfrewshire South becomes the youngest MP at the age of 20. Jim Murphy, the leader of Labour in Scotland, also lost his seat.
The question of leadership
Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband held their seats, while questions remain onto the leadership of both men. For the Conservatives, David Cameron was returned in Witney and is likely on track to return to Downing Street for another term as Prime Minister, and Boris Johnson becomes an MP for Uxbridge and East Ruislip.
There was also speculation regarding the future of UKIP and its leader, Nigel Farage, with rumours saying he would lose his Thanet South race. The result for that seat is due later on Friday. Douglas Carswell of the Clacton-on-Sea constituency in Essex, who crossed to the party from the Conservatives, won that seat.
The results from this election come after the exit poll from the BBC, ITV and Sky suggested significant gains for parties, including Conservatives with 316 MPs and the SNP gaining all but 1 seat in Scotland. Labour would get 239 MPs. A separate YouGov poll indicated that the Conservatives would get 284 MPs, Labour 263. The SNP would get 48 and the Liberal Democrats would get 31 MPs.
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) May 7, 2015
So YouGov so different from our exit poll: it says Con 284 seat, Lab 263, SNP 48, LibDem 31. Someone is wrong. #GE2015
— Robert Peston (@Peston) May 7, 2015
Yet there were questions on those polls, with leaders including Nicola Sturgeon exercising caution towards polls.
— Martyn McLaughlin (@MartynMcL) May 7, 2015
Reports published early Friday suggested that the Conservatives would fall short of achieving a majority, perhaps falling short by one seat.
The next direction
While all of the results are not in, there are still questions as to how this will play out—the first is the form of government. With the Conservatives likely to fall short of a majority, the question is where the negotiations would begin, and what form the government should take. Speculation says Cameron may get support from parties in Northern Ireland should the party fall short, though it is unclear with a limited number of results coming in.
The other questions are focused on Labour and the Liberal Democrats, with many calling for Ed Miliband to resign and speculation on the resignation of Nick Clegg as leader of the Lib Dems. The issue of the leadership of both of those parties are likely to dominate the political conversation in the coming hours.
What is also likely to be of interest to political observers is the expanded role of the SNP, considering its performance in Scotland against Labour and the Liberal Democrats, and the role they can have for voters there when it comes to the issues that are to be debated at Westminster, including constitutional issues.
After Thursday’s results, the winds of the British political landscape have shifted. How things will come to form will be based on the conversations due to take place in the days and hours ahead, from the subject of government to the parties themselves, and anything can happen.
All we can do now is wait for what direction comes next.
What do you think? What are your thoughts on this election? Have your say in the comments section below.