United Kingdom polls came and went. In their path, they left much relief, sorrow, disappointment and intrigue. Year long, candidates of the main parties embroiled themselves in a tense battle of words and promises, hoping to gain the majority of votes to rule at the commons. Speculation of there being a change in the ruling party was at one point prominent, which is why many were left surprised when the Conservatives regained the right to rule.
The surprise was not in David Cameron remaining Prime Minister, but in the style of his party’s victory. Something did change indeed, in that last election’s hung parliament wasn’t repeated, which saved the Tories more than a headache or two. Majority was filed in favour of the ruling party, which meant that Cameron could finally stop pretending to be friends with Nick Clegg of the Liberal Democrats. The latter failed miserably at securing seats, as his party dropped from 56 in 2010 to a dismal 8 in this year’s polls and whilst he kept his own, the shame was too great to bear for the man from Chalfont, who resigned from his post the day after. The other parties fared no better, the obvious example being Labour. Great hopes were laid on the movement led by Ed Miliband, who had actively presented a plan with which he aimed to replace a ‘’failed, tired government’’.
He mainly had hoped to do this by building an incoming generation of progress, a strong academic foundation, a National Health Service (NHS) that cares for the citizen, a higher living standard for the working class and a control on immigration. Convincing as it sounds, it never quite seemed to appeal to the British population, as the results at the polls were dismal and Labour actually lost twenty six seats in comparison to the last elections. The consequence: Miliband packed his bags. The other party that had as of late captured the public’s attention was the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP). Led by the boisterous Nigel Farage, UKIP is one of the most controversial parties to rise in the last few years.
Categorised almost as an extreme right wing party, they received a surprising backing because of their Eurosceptic ideology, which promised a European Union (EU) referendum should his party be elected. UKIP appealed to the general public discontent with the UK economy by pointing fingers at the monetary contribution the kingdom made to the EU. Equally, it blamed immigration when addressing the problem of jobs and budget allocations, and promised strict policies for immigrants in the UK if he was elected. The popularity however, began to decrease, mainly because of its progressive association with racist values, case in point when UKIP senior politician Godfrey Bloom addressed the African population as ‘’Bongo Bongo Land’’.
The consequence: One seat in parliament and Farage’s resignation. The prospects of an EU referendum however, have not been downplayed, as in fact it was the Conservatives themselves who first expressed displeasure with EU monetary contributions, and thus, the 56th UK election was one of the most observed in the political panorama of European affairs. A British exit (or ‘’Brexit’’ as it has already been dubbed) from the Eurozone would undoubtedly create controversy, both amongst nonEurosceptics and Brussels. Chancellor Angela Merkel knew this question would come to haunt her sooner or later (especially with a Tory victory), but could it potentially haunt British commerce established abroad too?
As we know them today, the EU and the UK share almost everything but its currency, something that has kept a tightly knit relationship between the two. As strong tides approach however, we might see a move that will sink firms, government and ties. The UK is thus at the forefront of yet another conservative five year term. Decisions made locally in regard to the public health system, immigration or education and internationally in regard to its EU membership, will definitely determine whether or not we will witness a third consecutive spell in 2020.