Latest Predictions: Con 316-325 Lab 232-241 SNP 55-56 LD 11-16
Northern Ireland Results: DUP 8 Sinn Féin 4 SDLP 3 UUP 2 Independent 1
The SNP have taken 55 of the 59 seats in Scotland with one left to declare, decimating Labour north of the border. Leader Jim Murphy and 40 more Labour MPs have lost their seats to Nicola Sturgeon’s party. SNP calls for devolution of powers now have added weight and the debate over further devolution of powers as well as possible constitutional change will heat up.
In England UKIP are set to take their share of the national vote into double figures. However that success has not been rewarded with more seats and Nigel Farage joins the growing list of big names on the outside looking in. The landscape for Labour in England is not as bleak as in Scotland but party figures are already beginning to call for Milliband to resign. Although Nick Clegg managed to cling onto his seat, the Liberal Democrat’s coalition adventure has been comprehensively rejected by the electorate.
David Cameron will almost certainly be remaining in Downing Street. Predictions suggest the Tories will be close to the 324 seats needed for a majority. Cameron will likely rely on the support of another party as a small majority of less than 10 MPs would lack stability in the longer term. Help is most likely to arrive in the form of the dwindling number of Liberal Democrat survivors or the DUP on a confidence and supply basis.
Closer to home, the UUP had an excellent night taking back two seats the party has held previously. Tom Elliot narrowly edged out Michelle Gildernew in Fermanagh and South Tyrone, while Danny Kinahan also narrowly defeated incumbent Willie McCrea of the DUP.
The blow of losing McCrea’s seat in South Antrim is softened enormously by Gavin Robinson’s victory in East Belfast. Naomi Long was able to increase her total to almost 17,000 but Robinson topped the poll by roughly 2,500 votes. His acceptance speech was widely criticised, however for failing to mention Long and being overly aggressive.
In West Belfast, People Before Profit candidate Gerry Carroll overtook the SDLP to finish second to Sinn Féin and collected 6,798 votes. An Assembly seat is now a serious target for Carroll who is an anti-austerity candidate. Sinn Féin’s vote share was down by 16.8% in this constituency as the party had a disappointing night on the whole, with their vote share down by 1.0% also losing an MP.
UKIP increased their vote in a number of constituencies and consistently finished above the TUV who were not able to build on the success of Jim Allister’s European Election campaign. Despite losing their lone MP the Alliance Party’s vote share was up and they gained ground in North and South Belfast. The SDLP will be pleased to hold onto their three existing seats but their share of the vote did drop by 2.6%.