In like a lion, out like a lamb
One American's perspective on the UK general election 2015
- This morning there was a familiar feeling in the air--a feeling akin to the morning of 4 November, 2004.
- Going for coffee on that bright Los Angeles morning, everything felt wrong. The disappointment and despair in the air was palpable. People's usual chipperness was replaced with a mixture of shock and disbelief.
- This morning, a decade later and continent apart, it happened again--another surprising win for the conservative party. And again, I saw that same mixture of shock and disbelief on people's faces.
- Yesterday, Britons went to the polls to elect the next five years of government--but this wasn't a typical election--it was a historic one.
- Described as a 'political tsunami', this election rewrote the political map of the United Kingdom.
- The biggest change was in Scotland. Once colored red for Labour, it turned completely yellow for the SNP.
- Led by the feisty and charismatic Nicola Sturgeon, the once obscure Scottish National Party 'roared' onto the scene by winning 56 out of 59 parliamentary seats in Scotland.
- Alex Salmond, the previous leader of the SNP said:
"There's going to be a lion roaring tonight, a Scottish lion, and it's going to roar with a voice that no government of whatever political complexion is going to be able to ignore."
- But as Nicola Sturgeon 'roared' onto the scene, both the leaders of Labour and the Liberal Democrats made humble exits. By 1pm, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg had resigned as leaders of their party.
- Even Nigel Farage, the outspoken leader of UK Independence Party, lost his seat and resigned as well.
- One in like a lion, three out like lambs.
- I live in Sheffield, an English city with a big heart and an even bigger Labour base. The results of this election did not go over well here.
- Social media was ablaze with comments of the four-letter persuasion.
- Some threatened to flee the country, some marched down to the Labour Party and signed up to campaign, and others continued to curse.
- It has been called a "stunning victory" for the Conservatives. They won a full majority in Parliament, something that hasn't happened for the last 23 years.
- In the 2010 election, David Cameron wasn't able to get the 326 seat majority needed to govern. He had to form a coalition with another party to make up the seats required enabling him to govern. But this time around, with 331 seats, he now has free reign of Parliament.
- So why was everyone so surprised? Opinion polls.