Election 2015 England

Election 2015: Conservatives big winners across England

David Cameron Image copyright PA
Image caption David Cameron's Conservatives became the largest party after a dramatic night of results

The Conservatives have emerged as the dominant force in English politics after a string of surprising wins in key constituencies.

Significant gains in the marginal "killing fields" helped the party to a comfortable majority.

In a night of upheaval, seats previously considered Labour and Lib Dem strongholds turned blue as results trickled in.

Several high-profile names including Ed Balls and Vince Cable lost their seats.

Failure to win key marginals, combined with Labour losses in Scotland, prompted Ed Miliband to stand down.

Meanwhile, Nick Clegg resigned as Liberal Democrat leader after his party suffered heavy losses and UKIP leader Nigel Farage also stood down.

Of its top 20 target marginal seats, the Conservative Party claimed 11.

The picture that emerged from the exit poll just after 22:00 BST on 7 May predicted the Conservatives would gain 316 seats, but as results were confirmed they exceeded earlier predictions.

Their majority was secured when Geoffrey Clifton-Brown held The Cotswolds to clinch the 326 seats needed to win with a handful of constituencies left to declare

Notable Conservative wins

  • Chippenham - Michelle Donelan takes the first English scalp for the party after beating former Liberal Democrat MP Duncan Hames by more than 10,000 votes
  • Morley and Outwood - Andrea Jenkyns overturned former shadow chancellor Ed Balls' majority of 1,101 to win by 422 votes
  • Nuneaton - Marcus Jones was re-elected with a majority of 4,882, an increase of 2,813 from 2010
  • Solihull - Julian Knight secured 12,727 majority over previous incumbent Liberal Democrat Lorely Burt
  • Somerton & Frome - David Warburton won by 20,268 votes taking seat from Liberal Democrat David Rendel
  • Telford - Lucy Allen overturns a 978 vote majority to oust David Wright in first gain from Labour
  • Thanet South - Craig Mackinlay saw off the challenge of UKIP leader Nigel Farage with a majority of 2,822
  • Warwickshire North - New MP Craig Tracey held the seat named as Labour's number one target

The party has kept control of a number of marginal seats and taken several others from their former coalition partners and Labour.

"My aim remains simple - to govern on the basis of governing for everyone in our United Kingdom," David Cameron said following re-election in his Witney constituency.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Labour leader Ed Miliband retained his seat but described the results as "disappointing"

Key events during the night

  • The Conservatives took the constituency of Nuneaton early on, described by the BBC's Andrew Marr as the first key battleground victory for Tories in marginal "killing fields"
  • Labour losses in Scotland became more and more evident as results came in from north of the border - SNP gains included Gordon Brown's former seat of Kirkcaldy, Douglas Alexander's Paisley and Renfrewshire South constituency and Jim Murphy's East Renfrewshire seat
  • Liberal Democrat faces started to fall when Equalities Minster Jo Swinson lost Dunbartonshire East to the SNP
  • Over the following hours, Ed Davey, Simon Hughes, Vince Cable, Charles Kennedy and Danny Alexander lost their seats too
  • David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband were all re-elected in their constituencies
  • Boris Johnson became the MP for Uxbridge and Ruislip South with a majority of almost 11,000
  • Former shadow chancellor Ed Balls lost his seat in the Morley and Outwood constituency by 422 votes
  • Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage resign as leaders of Labour, the Liberal Democrats and UKIP respectively
  • Get the full picture from across England with live updates here

Mr Miliband, who retained his seat in Doncaster North, announced his resignation on Friday after what he had described as a "very disappointing and difficult... for the Labour party".

He said he took "absolute and total responsibility" for the party's defeat.

Some of the party's safest seats fell in Scotland, with swings of about 30%, with election campaign chief Douglas Alexander and Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy both being ousted.

Labour did make gains in areas of London, taking Ealing Central, Acton and Ilford North from the Conservatives, and kept control of constituencies in the Midlands, the North West and the North East.

Despite this, Labour won 232 seats.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Nick Clegg's party suffered the loss of a number of high-profile MPs' seats

Nick Clegg's resignation followed a disastrous night at the polls for his party, which saw cabinet ministers Danny Alexander, Simon Hughes, Ed Davey and Lynne Featherstone lose their seats, along with former party leader Charles Kennedy.

Announcing his decision to step down he said the result, which left his party with just eight MPs, had been "the most crushing blow to the Liberal Democrats since our party was founded".

The party has lost more than £100,000 in election deposits, where its candidates pulled in less than 5% of the vote, the Press Association reported.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Simon Hughes, Vince Cable and Ed Davey were among the casualties of the Lib Dem results

The Greens, whose leader Natalie Bennett failed to win the seat of Holborn and St Pancras, lost a similar amount in deposits.

UKIP leader Nigel Farage came second in South Thanet, losing to Conservative Craig Mackinlay.

Following the defeat, Mr Farage announced he was stepping down as party leader, despite his party taking more than 14% of votes in England.

However, he said he had not ruled out standing in the party leadership race when it takes place September.

In Essex, UKIP held on to its Clacton MP Douglas Carswell, who fought off competition albeit with a reduced majority from last October's by-election.

But the party's other MP, Mark Reckless, lost his Rochester and Strood seat to the Conservatives.

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