Friday May 8th, and the nation was awakening to a dream for some and a nightmare for others.Only two parties had done well in Thursday's general election. The Conservatives, who had been been the largest party in the previous coalition government, had enough seats to form a majority government without coalition. Lucky for them, as the only party in mainland Britain who would govern with them, the Liberal Democrats, had been massacred at the polls and reduced from fifty six seats to eight, losing many senior figures. The Scottish Nationalists were triumphant, as their election campaign, which focused not on independence, which Scots mainly do not want, but on an end to austerity economics, had captured fifty six out of fifty nine Scots seats.
Labour, however, had had its worst election result for years. Part of the problem was that the Scots Nationalists had suggested that they might back Labour in a coalition, but English voters rightly feared that the resulting coalition would contain a nationalist party that has neither interest in England nor liking for the English and so were deterred from supporting Labour, even though the Labour leader had rejected coalition with the Scots Nationalists.But the moribund Labour party in Scotland, which had previously dominated the politics of the country, was destroyed at the polls by the more vigorous and more left wing Scots Nationalists, so Labour was squeezed in England and Scotland.
The United Kingdom Independence Party managed one seat, despite having fifteen percent of the votes. Likewise the Greens picked up one, while Northern Irish parties, which differ from those in Britain, divided up almost as usual between nationalists and unionists. The Welsh Nationalists are unchanged in seat numbers.
But three party leaders have resigned: Ed Milliband of Labour, Nigel Farage of the United Kingdom Independence Party, and Nick Clegg of the Liberal Democrats, whose mistakes of political judgment were responsible for the party's woes, even though as deputy prime minister he was excellent.