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Tories win majority but crime and justice not an election issue
08 May 2015

David Cameron
David Cameron
The Conservative Party has won a working majority in the general election, disproving the vast majority of pollsters and political commentators.

The party holds 330 seats, four more than the number needed to form an outright majority and 23 seats up on 2010.

As Sinn Fein members do not sit at Westminster and with the Speaker taking one seat, the Conservatives only needed more than 321 MPs to win votes in the Commons, with more than 326 securing an outright majority.

A number of senior Liberal Democrat ministers in the Home Office and Department of Justice lost their seats, including Home Office minister Lynne Featherstone and Justice Minister Simon Hughes.

Mark Reckless, one of only two Ukip MPs and a former Home Affairs Select Committee (HASC) member, lost his seat to the Conservatives. Fellow HASC member and Cambridge Liberal Democrat MP Julian Huppert lost to Labour.
Former Director of Public Prosecutions Sir Keir Starmer was elected Labour MP for the Holborn constituency in London.

In policing terms, a new Conservative majority government means that police and crime commissioners will stay in place. Home Secretary Theresa May also confirmed that the Data Communications Bill, which was blocked by the Liberal Democrats during the last Parliament, will now be reintroduced.

Crime and Justice was rarely discussed by the political parties as voters said it was a lower priority area than in previous elections.

Political advisor to the Labour Party and former chief constable Peter Neyroud said policing was never an issue.

“However hard we tried to promote the issue, the economy, health, immigration and education were the issues,” he explained.

Prime Minister David Cameron will now ask the Queen to form a government.
As predicted, the Scottish National Party took an overwhelming majority of seats in Scotland. The party will now have 56 MPs, 50 more than in 2010.

However, the results were a major surprise as the polls had been forecasting that Ed Miliband would become Prime Minister with the help of the SNP. On the night the Labour Party performed poorly gaining just 228 seats so far, 26 less than in 2010 and 100 short of a majority.

Mr Miliband said it was a “disappointing and difficult night for Labour” and that a “surge of nationalism “overwhelmed” his party. He is predicted to resign as party leader later today.

The Liberal Democrats also performed badly, seeing their support, particularly in the South West, decimated. In 2010, the party had 57 seats which enabled them to form a coalition with the Conservatives. The party has only managed to retain eight seats, with many senior figures including Business Secretary Vince Cable and Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander among those to lose their seats.

Party Leader Nick Clegg managed to retain his Sheffield Hallam seat despite pressures from both the Conservatives and the Labour Party.

Speaking after his re-election, Mr Clegg said it had been a “cruel and punishing night” for his party.

Other high-profile casualties included Labour’s Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls and Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander.

Elsewhere Plaid Cymru took three seats, the same number as in 2010. The Green Party’s Caroline Lucas retained her Brighton Pavilion constituency.
Ukip’s Douglas Carswell retained the Clacton seat he won in a recent by election and is the party’s only MP.

In Northern Ireland, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) retained their eight seats while Sinn Fein lost one seat and now has four seats. The Ulster Unionist Party took two seats, two more than in 2010.


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