- Conservative: 316
- Labour: 239
- LibDems: 10
- SNP: 58
- UKIP: 2
… a strong Conservative lead, but not the majority required.
Paddy Ashdown declared he’d eat his hat publicly on TV if the exit polls were right; everyone from each party warned of caution, in case the exit polls were wrong ~ but the exit polls have been bang on the last two elections.
I sat shell-shocked. Everyone was shell-shocked. No-one thought it was right, but as result-after-result came in, it became increasingly clear that it wasn’t the mistake everyone thought it was, it was an underestimation.
Morning brought the news absolutely no-one expected:
- The LibDems were annihilated from 57 to 8 seats ~ 300+ candidates lost their deposits.
- The SNP almost entirely removed Labour from Scotland. And labour didn’t fair much better in England either.
- Conservative ended up with a clear majority of 331 seats
Many big names had lost their seats; Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage all resigned. And we were all still saying “What the Hell?!”