London: Prime Minister David Cameron today won a stunning majority in Britain, disproving predictions of a terribly hung parliament and was on course to forming a single party government ending a brief coalition era.
The surprise surge ahead by the Conservatives led by 48-year-old charismatic Cameron saw the party come back to power with 331 seats, just crossing the half way mark in the 650-member parliament and is tipped to get four more.
”This is the sweetest victory of all,” Cameron told jubilant supporters at the party headquarters after the victory following which he does not need his ally Liberal Democrats with whom he had run the government since 2010.
Later in the afternoon, he met Queen Elizabeth II and said speaking in front of 10, Downing Street that “we are on the brink of something special in our country.
As a majority government we will be able to deliver all our manifesto.” Prime Minister Narendra Modi was among the first international leaders to congratulate him on Facebook with a reference to his campaign slogan: “As you rightly pointed out it's ‘Phir Ek Baar, Cameron Sarkar!' My best wishes.” Pre-poll predictions had said the verdict would be the closest in decades and forecast a scenario in which the winner would have to depend on more than one party to come to power.
The main opposition Labour Party suffered the second successive defeat winning only 232 seats, forcing its prime ministerial candidate Ed Miliband to quit as party leader.
”The responsibility for the result is mine alone. It is time for someone else to take forward the interests of this party,” he said in a brief speech to his supporters.
Centre-left Liberal Democrats were crushed at the hustings reduced to single digit (8) from 57 seats won five years ago.
Nick Clegg, the leader of the former coalition partner Liberal Democrats, stepped down with the words: “Fear and grievance have won, liberalism has lost.”
Surprisingly, the Scottish National Party (SNP) that favours Scotland's independence from Britain, produced a brilliant performance securing 56 seats, 50 up from the last elections, vanquishing Labour in its strongholds.
SNP's victory is expected to be a kind of headache for the Prime Minister Cameron who sounded conciliatory promising quick devolution of powers to Scotland and Wales.
He also faces a vote which he has promised on continued membership of Britain in the European Union. The UK Independence Party, an outfit that demands withdrawal from the EU surged into third place in the vote count but won only one seat.