Saturday, May 09, 2015

Suprise Endings to UK Elections

Sad and defeated Ed Miliband steps down as Leader of the Labor Party

The thing about having your entire country in one time zone is it  doesn't take long for election celebrations to begin and hopes to be dashed.
In the US, the agonizingly slow drip-drip of states closing their polls across the country offers a glimmer of hope for several hours to the soon-to-be defeated. It gives partisan audiences a chance to cheer and pat each other on the back.
On Thursday night in the UK, however the drama faded almost instantly as the electoral verdict was issued seconds after voting ended.  The Conservatives  would easily be the majority party.  It was not even a close race, by any means.

Photos of Romney supporters on 6 November 2012
The up and downs of US election night 2012 for Mitt Romney supporters
The ensuing hours were filled with  admonitions from shocked Labor and Liberal Democrat officials that everyone should wait for the votes to be counted before celebrating or weeping. But as constituency after constituency reported, with all candidates standing together on a stage to hear the vote totals read aloud, the numbers told the same story.
In a way Thursday was a mirror image of the 2012 US presidential election. At the start of the vote tally, conservatives insisted that weeks of polls were not reflective of the late surge in support for Republican Mitt Romney, who they said had what President Richard Nixon called a "silent majority" behind him.
Democrats, on the other hand, placed their faith in the science of surveys, personified by the bespectacled visage of self-professed statistics nerd Nate Silver. That vote ended with President Obama breezing back in for a second term and shocked Republicans left scratching their heads.

Labour Party members and supporters listen to Ed Miliband speak at One Great George Street in London, as he resigns as leader of the Labour Party 8 May 2015 

Labour Party aftermath:  downhearted supporters listen to leader Ed Miliband resign 

The official British election exit poll has not been badly wrong for a long time. Thursday, as on previous general election days, a consortium of pollsters spoke to over 20,000 voters outside polling stations around the country and asked them how they had voted. What they discovered defies all the opinion polling that took place leading up to today’s general election. No recent, mainstream projection had put the governing Conservative Party on much above 290 seats. But the exit poll says David Cameron's party will hit 316, up by 10 from 2010. It puts the Labor Party, which had looked on track to take some 270 seats, at a mere 239. By the time all was said and done, Conservatives had outperformed even the exit polls, securing an outright majority in Parliament.


Paisley and Renfrewshire South constituency winner Mhairi Black of the Scottish National Party (SNP) and Labour's Douglas Alexander react at the Lagoon Leisure Centre in Paisley, Scotland Friday May 8, 2015.

Mhairi Black

All across Scotland the Scottish National Party candidates emerged victorious, beating Scottish Labor Party Leader Jim Murphy and former Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy. Liberal Democrat, Danny Alexander of Glasgow, was unseated by a 20-year-old university student, Mhairi Black, the youngest member of parliament in Scottish history
The separatist Scottish National Party (SNP) have taken all but one seat north of the border. And Liberal Democrats have crumpled more dramatically than anyone ever expected, seeing their seat-count fall from 57 in 2010 to ten.

 The SNP supports separating from the United Kingdom. So while the SNP swept the north, support for the Liberal Democrats and Labor party collapsed across the UK.  I think there are going to be some pretty radical changes in the old UK, for the first time in many, many years. The old establishment is going to be shaken up.

Cameron on his way to the queen
Prime Minister David Cameron on his way to Buckingham Palace
And so the 2015 general election ends with Mr Cameron whisked from 10 Downing Street to Buckingham Palace for a triumphant audience with the queen.
Just over a month ago, the future was filled with uncertainty. Parliament had been dissolved, and the outcome of the general election was in serious doubt. Could the Tories keep their tenuous hold on power? Now Mr Cameron can enjoy his victory.  No coalitions, no fractured government. Just Conservative Party rule for the next five years.


  1. Great Post PIC ,
    Here we have wait until all the polls come in before we know who won ... that's all over the US.

    Left you something on Wag .
    Love you PIC

  2. Wednesday ... 13th ... left you something on Happy Dance .
    Love PIC


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