Thursday's United Kingdom elections brought a surprise lurch to the right, with the Conservative Party seizing the majority of Parliamentary seats and Prime Minister David Cameron sweeping back to power with more muscle behind him this time.
The overwhelming win was unexpected, as polls ahead of the election had shown a close race with the opposition Labour Party, and many analysts had expected a hung parliament in the immediate aftermath.
But both the centrist liberal democrats and Labour Party were clobbered in the election, prompting Labour Party leader Ed Miliband to resign from his role.
Cameron immediately signaled that he plans to oppose independence for Scotland and Wales. "I want my party, and I hope a government that I would like to lead, to reclaim a mantle that we should never have lost—the mantle of one nation, one United Kingdom," he said on Friday.
However, the Scottish Nationalist Party—anti-nuclear, anti-austerity, and pro-independence—made considerable gains, jumping from just six seats to 56.
The Guardian reports:
At the time of writing, with almost all 650 seats declared, the Conservatives had 325, Labour 229, the SNP 56 and the Liberal Democrats eight. In practice 323 Members of Parliament is the number needed to form a majority government.
"It is an extraordinary statement of intent from the people of Scotland," said SNP leader Alex Salmond. "The Scottish lion has roared this morning across the country."