UK General Election 2015: No One Saw This Coming

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Well, if this holds this is a HUGE surprise. And it looks like it will. BBC News:

After weeks of chatter about an election too close to call, it wasn’t that close at all.

David Cameron will be continuing as our prime minister.

A few points that non-British might be interested to read. As you know, this is not a politics blog. However, given what it is about, naturally a bit of the political is inescapable now and then; and a general election result like this one would perhaps reasonably constitute a “now and then.”

Prime Minister David Cameron’s center-right Conservatives appear to have trounced their main rivals, the center-left Labour Party. But the Conservatives’ governing coalition partners since 2010, the centrist Liberal Democrats, were almost wiped out. Yet the Conservatives gained quite a few seats, so the United Kingdom seems on course to have an entirely Conservative government led by Cameron.

The Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP), which is more leftist than the UK-wide Labour Party (and is committed to achieving Scottish independence), badly defeated Labour (which is committed to keeping Scotland as part of the union with England, Wales and Northern Ireland) locally within Scotland. Almost all Scottish MPs will now be SNP. The longer-term ramifications of that for the United Kingdom as a whole are naturally unclear as of yet.

The United Kingdom now has, essentially, two leftist major parties: one in England and Wales (Labour) and one in Scotland (the SNP). The Conservatives have for some time not won much in Scotland in terms of party representation, although some Scots do vote Conservative.

About these British Conservatives overall, a word of caution to American readers. These Conservatives here are not “small government revolutionaries.” The best way I can think quickly to describe this party under David Cameron is it is about “economic stability” and “cautious social reform.”

From Wikipedia.
From Wikipedia.

One might term it the party of “Keep Calm and Carry On.” There is really no direct U.S. equivalent. The closest I can think of is “Rockefeller Republicans.”

It brought in gay marriage, for example. It also generally supports what most American conservatives totally despise: the (Labour-created) National Health Service. In short, it’s a very “British” form of conservatism.

Screen capture of the Chicago Tribune web site.
Screen capture of the Chicago Tribune web site.

Most media and pollsters did not predict the Conservatives winning anywhere near a majority in the House of Commons. The reporting tone in the last week or so had been generally that Labour had the edge and somehow Labour leader Ed Miliband would become the new prime minister. So while this result was not exactly another “Dewey defeats Truman,” it is certainly more than shocking enough.

Have a good day, wherever you are. πŸ™‚

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