News from across the pond:
David Cameron has won an astonishing and unexpected election victory in the bitterly divided United Kingdom.
An unprecedented tidal wave of support for the Scottish National Party helped the Conservative leader by wiping out Labour’s stronghold in the north but more than 50 separatist MPs will now march into Westminster with the central aim of breaking up the country.
A swing to Labour that was consistently forecast over months of intensive polling spectacularly failed to materialize. Even those polls that had the Tories winning the most seats all agreed that it would be impossible for Cameron to improve his position and win an outright majority, however small. They were wrong.
The electorate had been given an unusually stark choice: Cameron, the incumbent, pro-business product of Britain’s poshest school, or Miliband, the geeky son of a Marxist intellectual, who would have become Britain’s most left-wing leader in a generation.
Boris Johnson, the Conservative Mayor of London, who returned to Parliament with a victory in North London, said there was no longer any room for misinterpreting voters’ wishes. “The people of Britain, after a long and exhausting campaign, have finally spoken. I don’t think we need any fancy constitutional expert to tell us what they were trying to say,” he said. “I think they have decisively rejected any attempt to take this country back to the 1970s, decisively rejected old-fashioned and outdated politics of division.”
In the end Labour missed most of their target seats outside London, where they fared a little better. Professor Tony Travers, an academic and former government adviser, told The Daily Beast that Miliband was likely to be forced to quit as leader of the Labour Party. “It’s a dreadful performance; a shockingly low vote share,” he said. “It’s going to be very hard for him to hold on.”
On a humiliating night for Labour the Shadow Chancellor, who drafted the party’s economic plan, did not get the chance to resign. He became the most high-profile casualty of the night losing his seat in a Labour heartland to a young Conservative challenger.
The other story of the night was the rout of the Liberal Democrats. The junior member of the ruling coalition government had been expecting to become kingmakers once again, but they were annihilated losing at least 45 of their 57 seats in Parliament.
I have no idea if this means anything as far as our own election that is coming next year, and I don’t claim to know shit about Britain’s politics, but it is pretty obvious that last night was a crushing defeat for the Left in jolly old England. The media (both here and there) is in shock, and some of them are trying to claim that Cameron has somehow lost by winning.
Apparently Nigel Farage and UKIP went down in flames too.