Although polls leading up to Britain’s national election showed the Conservative and Labour candidates locked in a dead heat, Prime Minister David Cameron and his Conservative Party came out the clear winners after Thursday’s vote.
With 639 constituencies counted in the 650-seat House of Commons on Friday, the Conservatives had 324 seats to the Labour Party’s 229, reported the Associated Press. The Scottish National Party won almost all 59 seats in Scotland.
The Liberal Democrat party, which had been the Conservatives’ partner in the government coalition, lost most of its seats and leader Nick Clegg resigned on Friday.
The UK Independence Party won only one seat, and its leader Nigel Farage resigned as well.
“I want my party, and I hope a government that I would like to lead, to reclaim a mantle that we should never have lost – the mantle of one nation, one United Kingdom,” said Cameron early Friday.
Cameron has pledged to hold a referendum in 2017 on whether the UK should leave the European Union. He plans to negotiate with the EU on several areas including immigration and having greater controls over who from the EU can travel to and work in the UK, and reducing regulations imposed by the EU on UK trade and business.
In addition, Cameron will have to deal with the continuing aftermath of the economic crisis and the ever-increasing cost of the state-funded National Health Service. He also might need to contend with renewed calls for Scottish independence after the nationalists’ surge.