David Cameron Back In No. 10 As Rivals Resign
The leaders of Labour, the Liberal Democrats, and UKIP all resigned as prime minister David Cameron's Conservatives won a surprise majority in parliament. In Scotland, the SNP swept the board, winning all but three seats.
Here is the latest:
- The Conservatives outperformed expectations as Labour suffered at the hands of the SNP. The Lib Dems were obliterated.
- The SNP won 56 out of 59 seats in Scotland as the Labour vote collapsed. Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy lost his seat, as did shadow cabinet member Douglas Alexander.
- Party leaders Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg, and Nigel Farage all resigned.
- Ed Balls, the shadow chancellor, lost his seat in Morley and Outwood by around 400 votes.
- The Liberal Democrats were reduced to just 8 MPs. Vince Cable, Ed Davey, Lynne Featherstone, Jo Swinson, Danny Alexander, and Simon Hughes all lost their seats; Nick Clegg survived in Sheffield Hallam.
- Here's what the election has told us about British politics.
So that's it. The 2015 general election is over. Below are the final results and a breakdown of how it all unfolded.
Conservatives – 331 seats Labour – 232 SNP – 56 Liberal Democrats – 8 UKIP – 1 Other - 22
David Cameron returns to Downing Street with a majority Conservative government.
The final result of the 2015 general election has arrived - the Conservatives have won St Ives from the Liberal Democrats.
The result means the Tories have won 331 seats, which represents a majority of 12.
Their former coalition partners, the Lib Dems, on the other hand have won just eight and in the process lost £170,000 in parliamentary deposits.
David Cameron, Nick Clegg, Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon have appeared in public together just hours after two of the main parties' leaders resigned.
The politicians lined up at the Cenotaph in central London as part of commemorations marking the 70th anniversary of VE Day, when World War II came to an end in Europe.
Harriet Harman will stand down as Labour's deputy leader after the party has chosen a successor to Ed Miliband, who announced his resignation today.
She said in a statement: "On the resignation of Ed Miliband as Leader of the Labour Party I, as his deputy, am stepping forward to be acting leader until a new leader is elected by the party.
"With a new leadership team in place, after what has undoubtedly been a serious defeat, the Labour Party will be best placed to be the strong opposition this country needs - defending our NHS and our public services, and fighting for fairness, equality and social justice.
"That determination will be all the fiercer in the face of this Tory government."
Harman, who was returned as the MP for Camberwell and Peckham with a strong majority, will remain as acting leader of the party until a leader is elected.
Cameron made a series of pledges in his victory speech.
The prime minister said the Conservative government will deliver an in/out referendum on membership of the European Union and said the devolution promised to Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland would be delivered.
He said his government would focus on rebalancing the economy and that "together we can make Great Britain greater still".
David Cameron has spoken on the steps of 10 Downing Street after securing a majority Conservative government.
The prime minister thanked his former coalition partner Nick Clegg, who earlier this morning stepped down as the leader of the Liberal Democrats after a terrible election night.
He mentioned Ed Miliband, who has also resigned, and said the former Labour leader was "in public service for all the right reasons".
David Cameron met with Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace.
The Tories have now secured the 326 seats they need to form a majority government.
Ed Miliband has announced that he is resigning as leader of the Labour party.
He said on Friday afternoon: "I believe that Britain needed a Labour government. I still do, but the British public decided otherwise. I take total responsibility.
"I am so sorry to all of those colleagues who lost their seats."
In a light-hearted moment, Miliband thanked the general public "for the selfies" and referenced his online community of teenage fangirls.
"Thank you for the most unlikely cult of the 21st century – the #Milifandom," he said.
Nick Clegg has announced that he is resigning as the Liberal Democrats' leader following a disastrous night for the party.
At a speech in central London, the deputy prime minister said the results "have been immeasurably more crushing and unkind" than he expected.
"For that I must take responsibility and resign as leader of the Liberal Democrats," he said.
Clegg defended the decision to form a coalition government with the Conservatives in 2010, saying: "To have served my country at a time of crisis is an honour that will stay with me forever."
But he attacked the record of right-wing parties. "Fear and grievance has won, liberalism has lost," he said.
"Our party will come back, it will win again. It will take patience, resilience, and grit."
Liberal Democrat leader and deputy prime minister Nick Clegg is due to give a speech at 11:30am in which he is expected to announce his resignation.
The Lib Dems won 57 seats in the 2010 general election. They have so far only won eight this time round.
Some people are waking up Friday morning and realising the election didn't go quite the way they hoped. Here's Mark Di Stefano with 19 GIFs that perfectly describe how Labour supporters feel right now.
In a series of tweets, Ed Miliband took personal responsibility for Labour's defeat.
He also thanked his supporters on Instagram.
"I've just thanked Labour's staff. They are a credit to our party, and, driven by a passion to serve, they are a credit to our country. Defeats are hard, but we're a party that will never stop fighting for the working people of this country."
UKIP leader Nigel Farage has failed to become an MP.
Farage came second in South Thanet to the Conservatives.
He has said he would resign if he failed to be elected, but he did not resign immediately following the results.
"An enormous weight has been lifted from my shoulders," he said, "and I've never felt happier."
Here's a list of the Labour MPs who could replace Ed Miliband if he steps down as party leader today.
Shadow home secretary, Yvette Cooper, could become the first female leader of the Labour party. She has a clear run at it now her husband Ed Balls has lost his Commons seat.
Her odds of winning are currently listed at 7/2.
David Cameron is expected to visit the Queen around 12:30pm, where he will be asked to form the next government.
Ed Miliband is currently inside Labour's headquarters speaking to party members. The 45-year-old could step down as party leader in the next few hours.
The BBC is reporting that Labour leader Ed Miliband could announce his resignation at midday.
Miliband is set to give a speech to Labour supporters at 12pm in which it is thought he will step down following last night's result.
Andy Burnham and Yvette Cooper are currently the leading contenders to succeed Miliband.
We're still waiting for the result out of South Thanet. It could be at least another hour until we learn Nigel Farage's fate.
The UKIP leader has said he will resign if he fails to be elected.
BALLS OUT. Sensational news. The shadow chancellor has lost his seat in Morley and Outwood by just over 400 votes.
The news compounds what has been a miserable night for Labour, and amplifies the fact that the party seems to have seeped working-class votes to UKIP.
The Conservative press team summarised the news as follows:
The Spectator's Sebastian Payne has tweeted a video of Cameron's speech at Conservative Central HQ.
On the BBC, Andrew Neil has just handed Paddy Ashdown a hat, after his earlier comments that he'd eat one publicly if last night's exit poll was correct. Unfortunately for viewers, he didn't. And neither did he eat any of these. Poor Paddy.
If you have an opinion on what kind of hat Paddy Ashdown should eat, you can vote here.
It's been a terrible night for the Lib Dems. Here's a list of the party's few remaining MPs.
This is the story behind the SNP's absolutely incredible election victory in Scotland.
Scotland went to bed on Thursday night with six SNP MPs, it has woken up with 56. The three main parties have just one MP each left in Scotland.
And here is a list of all the Liberal Democrat MPs so far. There are currently just eight, down from 56.
David Cameron and his wife, Samantha, have returned to 10 Downing Street.
The two main results we're still waiting for are Morley and Outwood – previously held by Labour's Ed Balls – and South Thanet, where UKIP's Nigel Farage is standing.
Over in Brighton Pavilion, the Greens still have an MP. Caroline Lucas comfortably retained the seat with a whopping 42%, an 11% swing in her favour.
The Greens failed to gain Bristol West, which was big target of theirs, so Lucas remains their sole MP.
If you've been up all night, you're not hallucinating. That man is in a helmet and battle gear. It's independent candidate Jesse Rae in Berwickshire, Roxborough and Selkirk, another seat the Lib Dems lost to the SNP. Here's Jamie Ross with more.
Balls to the wall. It's been rumoured all night that the shadow chancellor could be set to lose his seat in Morley and Outwood, and a recount has just been ordered.
David Cameron has tweeted this picture of him hugging his wife Samantha.
As BuzzFeed UK political reporter Siraj Datoo points out, he's not the first political leader to do this.
Also, he's not really kissing her right, is he? Ryan Broderick reports.
OK. Breathe. Here are the big stories of the night.
Labour has been blown away by the SNP in Scotland. At the time of writing, 34 Labour MPs have been defeated by Nicola Sturgeon's nationalist surge.
Among the victims: shadow cabinet member Douglas Alexander, defeated by 20-year-old student Mhairi Black, and Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy. Here is a handy guide to every Scottish Labour MP left.
The Liberal Democrats are being wiped out across the board. Danny Alexander, Vince Cable, Charles Kennedy, Simon Hughes, Ed Davey, Lynne Featherstone, Jo Swinson, and David Laws have all lost their seats.
The Tories have made gains overall, although they haven't won across the board – employment minister Esther McVey lost her marginal seat in Wirral West, a key Labour target.
George Galloway lost his seat in Bradford West, and has also been reported to the police.
Ukip's Mark Reckless lost his seat in Rochester & Strood, and reports suggest that Nigel Farage may be in trouble in South Thanet.
Basically: this wasn't an election. This was the Red Wedding.
Danny Alexander tells the BBC's David Dimbleby that Britain will see the true side of the Tories if they're left to govern without the Lib Dems. During the campaign he told BuzzFeed News' Emily Ashton that the Tories "piss him off". No love lost there.
Although Tory-to-UKIP defector Douglas Carswell retained his seat earlier, his colleague Mark Reckless hasn't been so lucky in Rochester and Strood, losing his seat to the Conservatives. Some of his old Tory colleagues are delighted:
As rumoured earlier in the night, George Galloway has lost his Bradford West seat to Labour. Just look at his face.
His victorious Labour opponent, Naz Shah, opened up publicly during the campaign about how her mother killed her abusive partner while she was a child. Read Jim Waterson's report from March here.
The controversial Respect leader also managed to get into a huge Twitter spat with a brewery during the campaign. Suffice to say, the brewery is pleased with tonight's news.
Ed Miliband has tweeted about tonight's results, thanking Labour supporters.
At exactly the same time (6.02am), David Cameron also tweeted, reiterating the "one nation" line of his speech in Witney.
Compounding the Lib Dems' misery, Danny Alexander has lost his Inverness seat by more than 10,000 votes. SNP's Drew Hendry took it with 28,838.
It's looking more and more like it's hat for breakfast for Paddy Ashdown.
David Cameron has held on to his Witney seat. "It's a very strong night for the Conservative party," he says, with "a positive response to a positive campaign".
Speaking on the BBC, Conservative Esther McVey bemoaned the campaign against her in Wirral West, calling it "the dark side of politics".
She specifically referenced attacks by Labour's John McDonnell, who suggested "lynching" McVey, and John Prescott, who was criticised last month for saying people only knew who she was because of her "lovely dress".
Ed Miliband, unsurprisingly, held his Doncaster North seat easily. He got 20,708 votes, with UKIP in second with 8,928.
"This has clearly been a very disappointing and difficult night for the Labour party," he said.
Referring to the SNP surge in Scotland, he talked about the "huge responsibility" the next government has to hold the United Kingdom together.
Despite delivering what the BBC's Andrew Marr described as "as close to a concession speech as you'll get", Miliband will now head to the capital to await the final results.
He also apologises for his party's protests in Scotland.
The SNP has gained former Lib Dem leader Charles Kennedy's seat in Ross, Skye and Lachaber.
Conservative Esther McVey has lost her seat in Wirral West to Labour. A rare boost for Ed Miliband's party.
This was one of the key marginals that Labour needed to win tonight, but it doesn't look as though it's going to be enough. Another key marginal – Telford – has been lost to the Tories.
Nick Clegg has held his seat in Sheffield Hallam with a dramatically reduced majority.
Clegg beat his hotly fancied Labour rival, Oliver Coppard, by 2,353 votes.
In his speech, Clegg acknowledged that the election has been disastrous for the Lib Dems, describing tonight as "cruel and punishing", and his words suggested he may resign later in the morning.
HUGE. Business Secretary and Lib Dem bigwig Vince Cable has lost Twickenham to the Conservatives' Tania Mathias.
It's not going well for the Lib Dems.
Boris Johnson has won in Uxbridge and South Ruislip.
There are many spectacular hats at his count.
VERY narrow win for the Conservatives in Thurrock, a three-way marginal with UKIP and Labour. Tories beat Labour by around 500 votes, UKIP in third.
A couple of seats which faced by-elections in the last parliament: Eastleigh goes from Lib Dem to Conservative, while UKIP defector Douglas Carswell holds Clacton with a reduced majority.
Former SNP leader Alex Salmond is heading back to Westminster. He's won the seat of Gordon.
A spot-the-difference of Britain's new electoral map.
A double whammy of terrible London losses for the Lib Dems. Lynn Featherstone has lost Hornsey & Wood Green to Labour's Catherine West. West wins 50.9% of the vote to Featherstone's 31.8%.
Simon Hughes has also lost Bermondsey and Old Southwark, and appears to be close to tears.
He's held the seat since 1983.
Some of the best moments of Featherstone's parliamentary career have already been shared on Twitter.
It is *NOT* an SNP clean sweep in Scotland. The Lib Dem Scottish secretary, Alistair Carmichael, has held Orkney and Shetland.
27 Times The BBC Swingometer Summed Up Your Struggle.
Labour has held the UKIP target seat of Great Grimsby. A huge swing towards Farage's party in the east coast seat, but not enough to get them higher than third place.
Two more catastrophic losses for the Lib Dems: There's been a huge swing to Labour both in Redcar and in London's Brent Central, where they won just 8.4% of the vote, well behind the second-place Tories.
George Galloway loses his Bradford West seat. Reports that the Respect group in the hall left before the result was read out.
More Lib Dem misery: Energy secretary Ed Davey loses his Kingston and Surbiton seat.
Surprise gain for the Tories from Labour in the Vale of Clwyd.
Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy has lost his seat in East Renfrewshire to the SNP. He applauds his opponent, but this is an absolute disaster for Labour.
The seat has seen possibly one of the highest turnouts of the election.
His speech following his defeat is gracious, and he congratulates his opponent, Kirsten Oswald. He says he will stay on as Scottish Labour leader.
Two rare scraps of good news have just come in for Labour. First, Rupa Huq has gained the marginal seat of Ealing Central and Acton from Conservative Angie Bray. Huq was involved in a minor skirmish with Boris Johnson's aides during the campaign.
She also used to be a DJ, and is former Blue Peter presenter Konnie Huq's sister.
Labour has also gained Burnley from the Lib Dems.
Another huge loss for the Lib Dems: Bob Russell, who has been Colchester's MP since 1997 and is a huge figure in the Essex town, has lost his seat to the Tories.
The BBC is reporting that the SNP has won Gordon Brown's old seat of Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath with a huge 35% swing.
The knives are being sharpened for Ed Miliband:
And yet another huge win for the SNP, John McNally winning Falkirk with a 19,701 majority and a 27.5% swing from Labour.
The result marks a terrible night, however, for outspoken UKIP candidate David Coburn, Scotland's only UKIP MEP, who only managed 1,829 (3%) of the votes.
BuzzFeed News' Jamie Ross profiled Coburn in April, when Coburn branded Ed Miliband a "wanker" and a "real arsehole."
Another massive win for the SNP – and it's Mhairi Black, a 20-year-old student, who has defeated shadow cabinet member Douglas Alexander.
Black will be returning to university to finish her exams before taking up her seat in Westminster, as you can read in Jamie Ross's profile of her from a few weeks ago.
Douglas Alexander, of course, will be a huge loss to British politics.
The SNP gains its first seat of the night, by a huge margin.
(And that's another lost deposit for the Liberal Democrats.)
The Conservatives have held Nuneaton – a key marginal that Labour had in its sights. And not only held it, but increased their majority.
What does this suggest? That the exit poll was, basically, right. Indeed, on the BBC, polling guru John Curtice says that the result there is even better for the Tories than the exit poll would have predicted.
Further news from Bradford West:
The BBC is saying that Bradford Council has reported George Galloway to the police.
However, the police told BuzzFeed News they haven't had a complaint.
Justine Greening comfortably holds another Tory seat in Putney.
It's more bad news for Labour after Swindon North, as again there's a small swing from Labour to the Conservatives. A Tory source told BuzzFeed News: "Conservative hold with an increased majority – up from 7,060 to 11,786. This was 102 on Labour's target list but their vote share even DROPPED here by 2.7 per cent."
More rumours: It's looking bad for Nigel.
South Thanet was the scene of a fierce Tory effort to stop the UKIP leader.
And the key Labour/Tory marginal of Croydon Central may have been held by the Conservatives.
The Conservatives have their first seat of the night: Justin Tomlinson holds Swindon North, a seat Labour could potentially have won if it'd had a particularly good night.
Instead, the Tories increased their majority by a healthy amount.
Or if that's not for you, here's a handy round-up of all the places people say they're going to move to if the Conservatives win:
Rumour round-up: It could be a bad day for people called Alexander.
Meanwhile, please admire Tom Katsumi's noble efforts to cross-stitch the election results in real time.
Labour wins its third seat of the night, Washington and Sunderland West. This was notable mainly for the Tory candidate's name.
It's spelt "Bob Dhillon", though.
Oh, also: Labour just held the safe seat of Sunderland Central. Current results: Labour 2, everyone else 0.
Confused about whether the exit poll might be wrong? Here's an explanation of how they work...and why this one might be unreliable.
"Instead of a fairly straightforward Conservative-Labour fight, there are lots of fights between the main two parties and smaller ones, in various places around the country. That makes it much harder for pollsters, because the sample will be less representative of the country at large.
John Curtice, a professor of politics at Strathclyde University and one of the academics behind the exit poll, says that the poll could be vague, or wrong. 'Prepare for disappointment,' he told Bloomberg News. 'It's almost guaranteed.'"
Meanwhile, the Milifandom has reacted to the news of the exit poll with despair (but they're still staying up to watch the result).
Labour reaction to the exit poll: "We are sceptical."
A Labour source tells BuzzFeed News' Emily Ashton: "We are sceptical of the BBC poll. It looks wrong to us.
"It's been close all the way through – and exit polls have been wrong in the past. YouGov [another poll of 6,000 voters, which gave a much closer result] is very different from the BBC's. The coalition came into election with a majority of 73, and even if the BBC exit poll is right, that has been all but wiped out. Who forms the next government is who can carry the confidence of the the House of Commons."
We have our first result of the night – Labour's Bridget Phillipson holds Houghton and Sunderland South.
Which is not a shock: It's a massively safe Labour seat, and she held it with 55% of the vote. What is interesting is that UKIP was in second place, with over 20% of the vote.
In a few minutes we'll get our first result of the evening from Sunderland. But why is Sunderland always the first to declare?
Chris Stokel-Walker looks at how one man's obsession with winning the race to announce results first has led to one of oddest traditions in British elections.
The result of the BBC/ITV/Sky exit poll has been revealed, and it predicts the Conservatives on 316 seats, Labour on 239 seats, the Liberal Democrats on 10 seats, UKIP on 2 seats, the Greens on 2, and the SNP on 58.
If that's anywhere near accurate, it's an incredible result that is radically different from what most opinion polls were predicting. The Conservatives would have actually gained on their 2010 result; the SNP would have taken all but one seat in Scotland. It would represent a dreadful night for Labour and the Liberal Democrats.
Emily Ashton writes: "In 2010 the exit poll accurately predicted the Tory vote share and under-predicted Labour's vote share by just three seats. But political commentators have urged caution over this poll because the rise of the SNP and smaller parties make it much more difficult to forecast the final result."
That would leave the Tories extremely close to the 323 seats the need for an absolute majority.
And it would mean they could potentially govern without the Liberal Democrats at all: they could form a coalition with the Democratic Unionist Party from Northern Ireland, who are likely to have 8 or 9 seats.
SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has already expressed some doubt about the poll:
And Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson agrees.
Meanwhile, the pound has taken a sharp upward turn on the news of the exit poll.
While you're waiting for the first exit polls, here are some fun things you might want to read.
Robert Colvile explains everything you need to know to make sense of what we'll see over the next eight or nine hours.
Emily Ashton looks at how exactly politicians plan on coping with staying up all night (and then potentially having to start coalition negotiations the next day.)
And there's also Emily's guide to what it would take for us to have a second election shortly after the first.
Jamie Ross looks at how Scotland became the weirdest and most fascinating place in British politics.
Chris Stokel-Walker investigates which party's supporters believe the strangest things.
Hannah Jewell looks at weird differences betwen voting in the UK and US.
And Flo Perry has 19 Faces Everyone Staying Up To Watch The Election Will Recognise
Polls will close across the country in 15 minutes.
If you were planning on voting, and haven't yet, now would be an excellent time to head to your polling station.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates and follow BuzzFeed UK Politics on Twitter.com.