No pollster, no pundit, no political leader saw it coming – not even Prime Minister, David Cameron himself. Only once before in recent history has an incumbent government increased its majority – and that was Mrs Thatcher in her prime in the 1980s.
The United Kingdom general election of 2015 was held on 7 May 2015 to elect the 56th Parliament of the United Kingdom. Voting took place in all 650 parliamentary constituencies of the United Kingdom, each electing one Member of Parliament to the House of Commons, the lower house of Parliament. Local elections took place in most of England on the same day, excluding Greater London. It was the first general election to be held at the end of a fixed term parliament following the enactment of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011. The election campaign was overshadowed by speculation that the outcome would be too close to call and would result in another hung parliament, similar to the aftermath of the 2010 general election. This led to many pollsters and media commentators dubbing the election the most unpredictable for decades. Opinion polls were eventually proven to have drastically underestimated the Conservative vote, which bore similarity to their surprise victory in the general election of 1992. The incumbent Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron, having governed since 2010 in a coalition with the Liberal Democrats, was elected for a second term with 36.9% of the vote and 331 seats.
But what does the outcome mean to the rest of the world? How do we fathom the almost Monty Pythonesque array of parties, including the “Respect Party” led the ubiquitous George Galloway? To help us make sense of politics in Blighty, noted crime-writer and keen social observer, Peter James will join the program to explain the anomalies of UK government and politics.
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