If you want to relive last night’s UK election white-knuckle ride, Aaron live-blogged much of it here. Suffice it to say, despite pollsters who had predicted that the race would be so close they could barely distinguish between the red and blue lines on their tracking charts, after a long night of counting and exit polling, David Cameron’s Conservative Party emerged victorious in such a walloping win that the UK will have its first Conservative non-coalition government since the days of Prime Minister John Major.
A few things you need to know:
- As noted, despite early indications that the body count would go well into the night (although, it still did, which makes me glad that I have 24 hour news networks that pepper their election coverage with holograms and irrelevant special guests), Conservatives took an early lead in exit polling and ended up with 331 seats in Parliament (if you count a few stragglers who are so far refusing to take their seats). Their leader, current Prime Minister David Cameron, will not need to form a partnership with any other party in order to govern, having achieved the 325 seats necessary for the majority, and the unexpected swelling of pride that comes with totally rousting your rivals. This morning, David Cameron, like the Royal Baby, was dressed in his finest to meet Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth. Unlike the baby, he will have to wear a suit and will be forced to work for a living.
- To say that Labour got its posterior handed to it on a silver platter would be putting it nicely, especially where Scotland is concerned. As revenge for Labour working against the Scottish referendum for independence (under the assumption that Scotland always votes Labour, thus keeping them competitive), Scotland showed Labour the business end of their kilts, handing all but 3 of their 59 open seats to the Scottish National Party, unseating even the Scottish Labour leader, snagging the seat that used to belong to former Prime (Labour) Minister Gordon Brown (or, as he’s affectionatly known to Top Gear‘s Jeremy Clarkson, “The One-Eyed Scottish Idiot”) and even sweeping aside Douglas Alexander, Labour leader Ed Miliband’s campaign chairman. Scotland is now one of the few nations in Europe to have solid one-party rule (though it’s in Westminster), and while they may not get much say in the next government, they’ve likely earned at least a few kept promises to give more regional power to the Scottish Parliament. The Welsh national party also won a few seats, but no one has yet been able to successfully pronounce the party’s name.
- As in the U.S. in 2012 and 2016, early pollsters were horribly wrong, leading them to spend the morning searching inward for any explanation as to how they could have been so blind to actual public sentiment. The popular excuse is that most of the UK’s voters didn’t make up their mind until yesterday, literally right before going to the polls. They also think that many who had planned to vote for smaller parties held their nose and instead voted for the Conservative Party at the last minute. It could also be, of course, that like here, they occasionally underpoll because too many people are ashamed to say who they’re actually voting for because to support any politician of any kind is shameful at best. Of the pollsters and pundits, the worst off may be a man by the name of Paddy Ashdown, former leader of the Liberal Democrats (who got pounded last night, winning only six seats), who publicly declared he would “eat his hat” if the exit polls were correct about the Conservatives. He has yet to eat his hat, though it does now have its own Twitter feed.
- The head of the Liberal Democrats, Nick Clegg, the head of Labour, Ed Miliband, and the head of UKIP, Nigel Farage, all resigned within an hour of each other this morning, although UKIP did do surprisingly well, losing Farage’s seat to a Conservative but gaining a foridable 13% of the popular vote. The election also swept out perennial loudmouth George Galloway, who lost to a Labour candidate Naz Shah (oddly enough, a mental health advocate). He responded by blaming racists and Jews, because he is George Galloway. The election has also, hopefully, swept out Russell Brand, who can now return to making terrible movies.
- The final UK election map looks like Maggie Simpson.
So now you’re all caught up and can commence ignoring UK politics for the next five years.