After months of political hype the dust is finally settling on the 2015 General Election and David Cameron is settling back into Number 10 with a sense of achievement. After 5 years of coalition Government the Tories finally outrun their competition to win 331 seats. As his competitors slowly make their way back to party HQ drenched in disappointment, we are taking the chance to look at what the 2015 election has taught us about modern day politics.
- If your party loses you’re out of a job
Before the final counts had finished trickling in Ed, Nick and Nigel were all waving their goodbyes to the parties they had fought so hard for over the last year. Whether it was party pressure or pure disillusion at another election lost, the three leaders were reciting tired, unenthused resignation speeches one after the other before lunchtime. For Labour and UKIP the losses came as no surprise, but as Clegg stood and claimed responsibility for the loss of 49 seats, it seemed almost unfair that these words were coming from the man that had led the most successful Liberal Democrat campaign in the last 100 years.
- Opinion polls are rubbish
The election hype spawns a lot of annoying behaviors; Facebook timelines full of political nit picking, lectures from family members on why you should vote their way and never ending result guessing from national newspapers. This year the major papers all had their own opinion polls and all were painting 2015 as the closest run yet, with Conservatives and Labour neck and neck in the race. But as Dimbleby broadly announced the results of the exit polls it became clear that the media painted opinions of the British public were not as accurate as they would have us believe.
- No seat is safe
Some of the most senior politicians in so called ‘safe seats’ waved goodbye to another five years in Westminster causing a media storm on Friday morning. Ed Balls, Vince Cable and Esther McVey all fell at the final hurdle leaving them to sheepishly admit defeat and scuttle back to party headquarters with serious doubts about the future of their political careers.
- The Scottish Lion is a beast to fear
Nicola Sturgeons SNP party successfully gained 56 seats in Scotland, leaving Labour weeping as they watched a wave of yellow sweep across the map. With some constituencies showing a 30% swing to SNP, it is clear that the next 5 years are not going to be made easy for Cameron and his cronies. The SNP also claimed one of the biggest shock wins as Mhairi Black, a twenty-year-old student, beat Labour’s shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander to the Paisley and Renfrewshire South seat.
- The days of the two-horse-race are numbered
For years British elections have hindered on the nations allegiance to one of two parties. But with the British people becoming more and more fed up with the red or blue option the gateway has been opened for smaller parties with stronger views. Whilst only winning one seat each both UKIP and the Green Party have proved their growing popularity in this election, with Farage’s party taking 12% of the overall vote and the Greens seeing their count hit 1 million for the first time ever.
It’s safe to say the next week will be full of dwindling Facebook politics, more resignations and never ending politically loaded headlines. But as David Cameron steps into Number 10 with promises of One Nation politics, all eyes will be on the Leader to see how he keeps to the promises his party so forcefully promised. But, with such a small majority in the commons, how will the Conservative party fare against benches full of socialists and nationalists baying for Tory blood?