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The United Kingdom General Election of May 2015 was held on Thursday 7 May to elect the 56th Parliament of the United Kingdom. Voting took place in all 650 Constituencies of UK, each electing one member to the House of Commons the lower chamber of the UK Parliament.
The Labour Party made significant gains compared to the 2010 General Election which saw on of its worst defeats since 1983, despite the surge enjoyed by the Scottish National Party which took all but three of Labour's Scottish seats.
The Conservative Party and Liberal Democrats made heavy loses following their governing coalition losing favour with public opinion. Despite the improving UK economic outlook many people claimed to be feeling more economically uncertain than had done at the 2010 General Election. Many senior Lib Dem figures lost their seats in the election.
The election had seen the rise of the UK Independence Party and the Green Party to a lesser extent. However the Greens failed to gain any more than their single seat held by Caroline Lucas, and UKIP couldn't break through the First Past the Post System only winning two seats despite winning 16.5% of the popular vote.
The Election resulted in the first hung parliament since the February 1974 General Election. No single party could form a government so parties entered negotiations for a coalition government or a supply and demand arrangement. Miliband has ruled out working the SNP in several interviews and in the Leadership Debates that took place, however Miliband went back on that vow and entered into a supply and demand agreement with the SNP. Miliband going back on his vow angered many Labour voters and several Labour MPs to the right of the party, many believe the angered voters are likely to switch to either the Conservatives or UKIP at the next General Election.
Following the election David Cameron and Nick Clegg both resigned as leaders of their respective parties. Nigel Farage, leader of UKIP, had said if he failed to win his seat he would resign, however he won South Thanet with a majority of 3,481 over his Tory opponent, former UKIP member Craig Mackinlay.
Two candidates put themselves forward for the leadership of the Liberal Democrats: Tim Farron and Norman Lamb. Lamb had been a government minister in coalition with the Tories which tainted his reccord among many Lib Dem members, and lost to Tim Farron, who had been criticised for his stance over Equal Marriage which was legalised in 2013.
Four candidates put their names forward for the Conservative leadership: George Osborne, Theresa May, Sajid Javid and Michael Gove. All held high profile cabinet roles in the last government with Osborne the former Chancellor; May previously the Home Secretary; Javid for Culture Minister and Gove formally the Education Minister who then was demoted and appointed Chief Whip.
Osborne took and early lead in the contest and he won the first, second round by a fair margin, but in the third round Gove was within 10 points of Osborne, and supports of May had a negative opinion of Osborne and largely backed Gove who went on to win the election.
A table of results for the seven parties that took part in the leadership debates in the lead up to the General Election.
|Total||Gained||Lost||Net||Total (%)||Change (%)|
|Labour Party||Ed Miliband||298||78||38||+40||33.4%||+ 4.4%|
|Conservative Party||David Cameron||254||18||70||-51||31.5%||- 4.6%|
|SNP||Nicola Sturgeon||55||49||0||+49||4.2%||+ 3.1%|
|Liberal Democrats||Nick Clegg||8||0||40||-40||8.5%||- 14.5%|
|Plaid Cymru||Leanne Wood||3||0||0||0||0.6%||0.0|
|UKIP||Nigel Farage||2||1||1||+1||16.5%||+ 13.3%|
|Green||Natalie Bennett||1||0||0||0||3.8%||+ 2.8%|