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UK General Election 2015

In May 2015 voters decided on the next UK government. Widely reported as the most unpredictable in post-war Britain, the exit poll on the night rightly predicted a Conservative victory. David Cameron was returned as Prime Minister with a conservative majority of 12 Members of Parliament.


Find out who won, who lost and all the events from election night and its aftermath. Read here

Key Election Statistics

Find out each political party’s results, the share of the vote in 2015 and compared to 2010 as well as the turnout. Read here

Looking back on the Campaigns

6th May – the final day of campaigning

  • Our Academic Adviser, Dr Ed Gouge has put together your 2015 General Election Night Guide. With extensive analysis, it takes you through the counting process, what results are expected by the hour and crucially what they will mean for either David Cameron or Ed Miliband becoming Prime Minister. Take a look here.
  • Todays polling, of which there were seven, put no distance between Labour and the Conservatives.
  • ICM have 33% of 2010 Liberal Democrat voters going to Labour, 13% to conservatives and 11% of 2010 Conservatives going over to support UKIP
  • Speaking in Wales, David Cameron insists he can “still win a majority” but will put the country first once the result is known
  • Ed Miliband says he “will go down to the wire” to convince people to support Labour adding that he believes voters will make the right judgement
  • Liberal Leader, Nick Clegg says his party could provide stability to “messy” minority governments
  • Nigel Farage says the British people have discovered that UKIP is not a one-man band or one-trick pony and that he has “done his best” He also added that if he does not win the seat he’s standing in, he’s likely to “be for the chop.”
  • Natalie Bennett has told people to vote green “to keep the Tories out”
  • In a move that characterises this election, the Daily Mail urges voters in 50 key seats to vote tactically to keep Ed Miliband out. this includes the seat of Sheffield Hallam where Nick Clegg is standing as seen as vulnerable
  • Petitions have started to bring in proportional representation with some saying the 2015 General Election is the death of first-past-the-post. Whether this fervour remains after the result is not clear.
  • Nicola Sturgeon has said that the SNP is “within touching distance” of making Westminster history. Polls still indicate a landslide victory for her party with Danny Alexander, Charles Kennedy and Douglass Alexander all in trouble. The chances of seeing former SNP leader Alex Salmond on the House of Commons benches are also extremely high.

5th May

  • All the party leaders took their battle buses, planes and helicopters across the UK making “whistle-stop” tours of all the key marginals that they must win on election night.

4th May

  • After telling people not to bother voting at all, Russell Brand, comes out publicly to ask voters to support Labour at the election overall and vote green to keep Caroline Lucas in Brighton
  • My Election Night Predictions – Jonathan Scott sticks his neck out to try and call one of the closest ever election results. Read the latest Scott’s Blog

3rd May

  • Scottish Leaders clash in TV debates and Nicola Sturgeon clarifies that a big win the election does not equal a mandate for a second referendum on independence.
  • Britain’s relationship with Europe was a big issue this weekend. Nick Clegg said he would back a conservative-led government’s pledge for a referendum but his ‘red lines’ would come first. Nigel Farage reiterated that he did not trust Mr. Cameron to deliver a referendum at all who in turn reiterated his pledge that he would not lead a government without one. Getting complicated, and a key issue for any negotiations.
  • Ed Miliband ridiculed and called ‘Moses’ by the media after producing a large stone tablet with Labour’s main election pledges chiseled in. Mr. Miliband says he he is Prime Minister it will be put in the rose garden at No.10.
  • The Labour Leader, reiterated his pledge to cut tuition fees to £6,000 p.a as the Conservatives appeared to duck questions on whether they would increase them
  • Newcastle limbering up to try and beat Sunderland as the first constituency to declare on results night
  • Another red-line for Nick Clegg. This time he says he will insist on a pay increase for public sector workers as part of any coalition deal. May be quite popular.

2nd May

  • Leader’s work the vote on final weekend before the election, taking time to congratulate The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on the birth of their daughter. Nigel Farage orders all candidates to take an hour off and raise a glass to toast the new princess
  • Ed Miliband says the Conservatives are trying to “distract voters from their record” with the never-ending SNP issue
  • David Cameron says his comment yesterday was intentional. Speaking in Leeds he said the election was a “career-defining” moment before correcting himself as “county-defining”. Sounds like it was a mis-timed joke.
  • Liberal Democrat Leader sets out plans for tackling youth unemployment. A new task force would be set up to help 100,000 young adults
  • Speaking in Cardiff, Anne Widdecombe says voters should “ignore minor parties” because it takes the country closer to a Labour-SNP coalition
  • During televised leader’s debates in Wales, Labour and Plaid Cymru clash on whether the two parties could work together if next week’s election results in a hung parliament.

1st May

  • “I won’t be Prime Minister with the SNP” says Miliband but Conservatives retaliate that a ‘vote-by-vote’ arrangement was not ruled out by the Labour Leader
  • David Cameron’s red-line revealed: He will not lead a government that does not promise an In/Out Referendum on the EU
  • Scott’s Blog – following the BBC Question Time Leader’s Interviews, Jonathan Scott gives us his election night predictions. Read them here
  • Quick highlights from the Leader’s Interviews at Leeds.

30th April

    • With a week to go, Jonathan Andrew looks at whether Ed Miliband can win it for Labour. Read here
    • Major row erupts as the Liberal Democrats claim their coalition partners proposed to ‘slash’ child benefit while they were in government together. The Conservatives label the claim as ‘desperate’ but still fail to explain details on welfare cuts if elected
    • Ahead of live TV Leader’s interviews from Leeds, Ed Miliband says voters have “seven days to take your chance to run Britain for working people once again”

  • Donations to the top four political parties hits £4.2 million for the third week of campaigning. Labour received the most with UKIP second at £1.5 million.
  • The Scottish Sun has endorsed the SNP with the London-based edition coming out in support of the Conservatives
  • Sandi Toksvig reveals she has stepped down from BBC Radio 4 job to start a new political party called the Women’s Equality Party

29th April

    • Ed Miliband tells Russell Brand he is wrong to tell people it’s pointless to vote. Watch the episode of the TREWS (True News)

  • Spotlight on the National Health Action Party who are fielding twelve candidates in the General Election. Read about them here…

28th April

    • Bad news for the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats as UK economic growth slows to 0.3% continuing a slowdown that started six months ago.
    • Another ‘red-line’ for the Liberal Democrats, clearly trying to position themselves as the best choice in a coalition, as they state there would need to be a ‘Stability Budget’ within the first 50 days of the next parliament setting out how the nations debt and deficit will be managed.
    • Conservatives say they would use fines imposed on banks for rigging interest rates to fund 50,000 apprenticeships. Tories turn to bash the bankers as they’ve already announced an increase of 3 million apprenticeships if elected.
    • Ed Miliband has late night ‘interview’ with Russell Brand as David Cameron says he is a ‘joke.’

27th April

    • Leanne Wood, attacks Conservatives over “divisive” tactics in the election campaign against the SNP threat.
    • In the battle over housing policy, Labour announces they would exempt first-time buyers in the UK (other than Scotland) from paying stamp duty when buying homes below £300,000, for three years.
    • Northern Ireland health minister, Jim Wells resigns over his remarks that children were more likely to be abused by gay couples
    • Liberal Democrats announce ‘red line’ over increases to education funding should they enter a coalition

  • Green Party announces it would end ‘Right to Buy ‘scheme for council tenants.

25th April

    • Visibly embarrassing moment for the PM as he seems to forget which football team he supports. West Ham? Aston Villa?

24th April

  • David Cameron pledges English votes for English laws as he launches the first ever English Manifesto for the Conservative Party. Read more…

23rd April

  • GE2015 Team: Nick Gregory explores the NHS, a major election issue for voters on May 7th. Read more…

22nd April

  • Grant Shapps, Conservative Party Chairman denies reports that he repeatedly edited Wikipedia entries.

20th April

  • Nicola Sturgeon launches the Scottish National Party Manifesto. Read the full speech or a snapshot of policies
  • GE2015 Team: Charlotte Sharman explains why she thinks the Conservatives are the only real choice in May. Read more…
  • Last day to register to vote (online only) Remember no vote no voice. Register here (external site)
  • Labour Leader is mobbed by ladies on a hen-do in Chester for selfies. Something to cheer up Ed Miliband…

19th April

  • GE2015 Team: Oliver Marks looks at Welsh party, Plaid Cymru and explores if they are potential kingmakers or a false dawn in this election. Read more…

17th April

    • Scott’s Blog: The real challenge from the ‘Challengers’ BBC TV Debate was watching it. Read more…
    • Tense clip from the BBC TV Challengers Debate

    • Full version of the BBC TV Challengers Debate

16th April

  • GE2015 Team: Read an article from our writer Tom Bailey, Brighton Pavilion: Green and still surging. Read more…

15th April

    • Scott’s Blog: A tale of two manifesto launches. Could UKIP and the Lib Dems have been any different. Read more…
    • GE2015 Team: Why I’m standing for Parliament by Sam Gould, aged 23. Read more..
    • UKIP Manifesto. Key pledges. Read more…
    • Watch Highlights from the UKIP manifesto launch in Essex

    • GE2015 Team: Sixth Form student Cameron Lord from Newcastle walks us through the ‘unfortunate diminishment of the Liberal Democrats’ Read more…
    • Watch highlights from the Liberal Democrat manifesto launch in London

14th April

    • Main points from the Conservative Party Manifesto.
    • Manifesto Review: Neil Taggart takes us through the Labour Party Manifesto. Read more..
    • GE2015 Team: Alexander Rowe looks at the 2015 General Election through the prism of the 1945 General Election. Held 70 years ago, it also followed a coalition government. Read more..
    • The Green Party launch their manifesto. Read the main points and watch the speech by Natalie Bennett.

13th April

    • GE2015 Team: Callum Clark writes about his home constituency of Boston and Skegness which he describes as a new marginal seat due to the rise of UKIP. Read more…
    • Labour Party launch their 2015 manifesto in Manchester

9th April

  • Trident: The latest election battleground and a row between Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon and Ed Miliband on ‘back-stabbing.’ Read more…
  • GE2015 Team: Jonathan Andrew gives his thoughts on the issue of immigration in his article for us. A crucial issue at this election, take a look at ‘The Great Immigration Debate.’ Read more…
  • GE2015 Team: Nicholas Barker explains why foreign policy should be a bigger election issue for political parties and voters. Read more…

8th April

  • Labour would abolish ‘Non-Doms says Ed Miliband. Read more…
  • Jim Murphy, Labour and Nicola Sturgeon, SNP clash in Scottish TV debates

7th April

  • UKIP say they are the party for defence during policy launch in Dudley, West Midlands. Read more…
  • GE2015 Team: Andrew MacAulay explores for us the SNP, ‘fringe parties’ and the impending Westminster shake-up. Read more…

3rd April

  • Read our Scott’s Blog analysing who won the seven-way TV Leader’s Debate. Take a look here…
  • GE2015 Team: Jack O’Neill, 17, from Devon explains why young people should get involved in this election in his article ‘An election without the electorate’ Read more…

1st April

  • The Ethnic Priority. In the first article from our GE2015 team Abigail Watson examines the ethnic minority vote. Read more…
  • A Labour government will end zero-hours contracts says Ed Miliband. Read more
  • One hundred business leaders sign an open letter giving their support to the Conservative Party’s plans for the British economy

31st March

  • Liberal Democrats pledge £3.5bn for mental health care as they launch their ‘manifesto for the mind’. Read more…
  • Plaid Cymru launch their manifesto in Wales for the General Election as a chance to influence a hung Parliament and get economic recovery for all. Read more…

30th March

  • UK Parliament is dissolved. The 2015 General Election officially starts. Read more…

So, who’s who

  • David Cameron – current Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party and Member of Parliament for Witney, Oxfordshire
  • Ed Miliband – Leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition, Leader of the Labour Party and Member of Parliament for Doncaster North
  • Nick Clegg – current Deputy Prime Minister, Leader of the Liberal Democrats and Member of Parliament for Sheffield Hallam
  • Nigel Farage – Leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) and a Member of the European Parliament representing the South-East region of England
  • Nicola Sturgeon – Leader of the Scottish Nationalist Party and a Member of the Scottish Parliament for Glasgow Southside
  • Natalie Bennett – Leader of the Green Party and contesting the parliamentary seat of Holborn and St Pancras
  • Leanne Wood – Leader of Plaid Cymru in Wales
  • Peter Robinson – Leader of the Democratic Unionsist Party (DUP) and First Minister of Northern Ireland

The opinion polls

Take a look at our assessment of what the polls mean put together by our academic adviser, Dr Ed Gouge.

The TV debates

The First Debate – Ed Miliband and David Cameron

With David Cameron refusing to have a head-to-head debate with Labour leader Ed Miliband, the first Q&A took place on Thursday 26 March hosted by Channel 4 and Sky News.

It marked the return of Jeremy Paxman who grilled David Cameron followed by Ed Miliband. Each leader then took questions from the audience. On the night Cameron was declared the winner however Labour saw a bump in the polls in the next few days.

Remind yourself what happened:

The Second TV Debate – seven political party leaders on one stage

The seven-way debate took place on Thursday April 2nd at the ITV studios in Salford. Moderated by Julie Etchingham, it was attended by the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat leaders as was the case in 2010. However for this election, David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg were joined by Nigel Farage, UKIP, Natalie Bennett, the Greens, Nicola Sturgeon, SNP and Leanne Wood from Plaid Cymru. Watch the highlights below:

The format saw opening statements from each leader, followed by questions from the audience on the economy, NHS, immigration and future for young people. After the occasional laugh, clap and unfortunate outburst from the audience the TV event finished with closing statements. After the event the spin-room was buzzing with everyone declaring their leader the winner. The four polls straight after the debate had mixed winners of Nicola Sturgeon, Ed Miliband, David Cameron and Nigel Farage, claiming no-one landed a killer blow. How much the debate will have influenced undecided voters is hard to say.

Read articles from our GE2015 Team:

We have a GE2015 Team for BRIT POLITICS. We wanted people from all-over the country who are closely following the election to express their views on the issues that matter to them. Take a look at their articles for us at BRIT Blog.

Follow the election chatter

We regularly tweet on the #GE2015 hashtag. You can follow BRIT POLITICS on Twitter and get involved on our Facebook page.

Deal or no deal? we may be heading for a ‘hung parliament’

In the 2010 General Election there was no overall winner. No one political party had enough seats in Parliament to form a majority government. For five days after the result was known political leaders got together and tried to work out a deal. The Prime Minister at the time, Gordon Brown, looked to smaller parties to support him to carry on but in the end a coalition was formed between the Conservative Party, who’s leader David Cameron became Prime Minister and the Liberal Democrats, who’s leader Nick Clegg became Deputy Prime Minister. They then set out a coalition agreement on important areas such as deficit reduction, tax, education, health and the environment and formed a cabinet made up of members of parliament from each party.

As there is a very real possibility that the ‘hung parliament’ outcome may happen again in May, party leaders have already been discussing the ‘deals’ they would do:

  • The Scottish National Party has said it will do no deals with the Conservatives
  • The Green Party will give a vote of ‘confidence and supply’ to a larger party but in practice this would only be a Labour government
  • Labour is under pressure to firm up its position on any deals with the Scottish National Party
  • Nigel Farage’s UKIP and the Conservatives have kept tight lipped about doing a deal but the PM has hinted that he would bring the EU referendum forward which is a key UKIP pledge
  • Relations between the Liberal Democrats and their coalition partners are strained and they are open-minded to doing a deal. Nick Clegg is setting out before the election certain promises he would want from Labour or the Conservatives. They might just be the king-makers again if they can hold onto enough seats.
  • Plaid Cymru, led by Leanne Wood, has said it will negotiate jointly with the SNP and Greens.

There are just so many talking points:

  • How well will the SNP do in Scotland? Will they be the only party that can prop up a Labour government, and if so at what price?
  • Will David Cameron resign if he doesn’t win a majority but has the largest party? Will the UK have a Prime Minister who they did not vote for as part of the election campaign?
  • Will the Liberal Democrats go into coalition with the conservatives again or would they choose the Labour Party. Will they go into coalition with a new leader?
  • Will Ed Miliband survive if he doesn’t secure a majority?
  • Is Boris Johnson patiently waiting in the wings to take over from David Cameron or will he be scuppered by the other favourite Theresa May?
  • How influential will the TV debates continue to be?
  • Will Nick Clegg, hold on to his seat in the constituency of Sheffield Hallam and how many other current cabinet ministers will go
  • Will Alex Salmond be elected to the UK parliament and what does this mean for Nicola Sturgeon as leader of the SNP?
  • Will the Green’s hold on to their one MP, Caroline Lucas in Brighton, or even grow their numbers?
  • Will Ed Balls, Shadow Chancellor, hold onto his northern seat?
  • How many MPs will UKIP get? will their vote from the european elections hold up at a national level
  • What will be the role of the Queen if there is a constitutional crisis and she needs to step in?
  • Could we see a unity government made up of the two largest parties – Labour and Conservative – not seen since the war?
  • Could we see two general elections held in 2015?