Cameron hails “the sweetest victory”

timessweetest“Mr Cameron began one of the most extraordinary days of recent political history by driving from his count in Witney, Oxfordshire, to Conservative campaign headquarters in London to join party aides celebrating the result. He is the first incumbent prime minister since Lord Salisbury in 1900 to increase vote share after holding the role for more than 18 months. Political scientists believe that he is also the first in modern history to increase both vote share and seats. “I am not an old man, but I remember casting a vote in 1987 and that was a great victory. I remember working just as you’ve been working in 1992 and that was an amazing victory,” the Tory leader told jubilant staff. “And I remember 2010, achieving that dream of getting Labour out and getting the Tories back in and that was amazing. But I think this is the sweetest victory of them all.”- The Times(£)


Boundary changes among early priorities

“Redrawing constituency boundaries to lock Labour out of power for a decades is at the top of the agenda for the new Conservative government, senior Tories have said. The changes to parliamentary boundaries, blocked in the last Parliament, could be confirmed quickly and take effect at the 2020 general election, party sources suggested. Boundary reform is on a list of Tory policies the party was unable to implement in coalition with the Liberal Democrats and which the new government will now push ahead with.” – Daily Telegraph

Senior Cabinet Ministers kept in place – with Osborne charged with EU renegotiation

George Osborne“David Cameron is spending the weekend finalising his first all-Conservative cabinet after his party won a majority in Thursday’s election. The PM has already reappointed Chancellor George Osborne, who has also been made first secretary of state. Theresa May remains home secretary, Philip Hammond foreign secretary, and Michael Fallon defence secretary. The Conservatives won 331 seats – five more than needed for a Commons majority – their first such victory since 1992.” – BBC

  • Mr Juncker will examine in a “very polite, friendly and objective way” any proposals, ideas or requests that the UK puts forward – Press Association
  • Cameron “must make the case for EU membership” says Tusk – BBC
  • Make the Tories the workers party – The Sun(£)

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: General Election and cabinet appointments live blog

World’s media reacts to election results

“The resounding victory by David Cameron and his Conservative Party which defied all predictions is making headlines around the world. Commentators say that the party’s solid majority will allow it to push through its policy plans, with some saying this could be bad news for Europe. There is also much discussion about the rise of the nationalist SNP Party in Scotland, which is being seen as a “seismic shift” in UK politics.” - BBC

Miliband resigns – with Jarvis among those named as potential successors

Miliband Natural“The Labour leadership election will be held under a near one-person-one-vote system that abolishes the old electoral college that gave the unions a third of the vote. Potential candidates include Yvette Cooper, Chuka Umunna, Andy Burnham, Dan Jarvis and Liz Kendall. Harriet Harman will act as caretaker leader, but will also resign as deputy leader.” – The Guardian

  • Jarvis is the dark horse – Press Association
  • Miliband was writing his victory speech, then came the Exit Poll – Daily Mail
  • Runners and riders for Labour leadership – BBC
  • Blairites take savage revenge – Daily Mail
  • Pick a “new blood” leader says Lord Hutton – Daily Mail
  • Harman also standing down – The Sun(£)
  • Labour should stop kidding themselves- The Sun Says(£)
  • When the Question Time audience turned on Miliband the die was cast – Alan Johnson The Guardian
  • Ed Miliband was an all right leader – Dan Hodges Daily Telegraph

Clegg also stands down as leader

“Admitting the Lib Dems had suffered “catastrophic losses,” Mr Clegg said: “One thing it seems to me is clear: liberalism here, as well as across Europe, is not faring well against the politics of fear. Years of remorseless economic and social hardship following the crash in 2008 and the grinding insecurities of globalisation have led people to reach for new certainties – the politics of identity, of nationalism, of us versus them, is now on the rise.” – The Independent

Balls loses his seat to Andrea Jenkyns

Andrea Jenkyns“Former beauty queen Andrea Jenkyns had persuaded hundreds of Labour voters to switch allegiance and make her the new MP for Morley and Outwood in West Yorkshire. At yesterday’s count the 40-year-old cut a striking figure in her red skirt and jacket and spoke eloquently about how the death of her father from the hospital superbug MRSA had inspired her to seek a career in politics. And that is just the start of it. She has a colourful back story that includes coming from humble roots in East Yorkshire to blossom into a Miss United Kingdom finalist – a subject she coyly refused to discuss yesterday.” – Daily Mail

Conservatives make gains in the council elections

“Conservative support has surged in council contests on the back of the party’s general election triumph. With counting completed in more than two thirds of the 279 authorities involved, Conservatives had made 423 net seat gains, Ukip 47 and Greens 6. The Liberal Democrats had 282 losses, Labour 153 and independents/others 260.” – The Guardian

>Yesterday: Local Government: Conservatives make gains from the Lib Dems in council elections

Farage quits too – for now..

FARAGE big laugh“The Ukip leader Nigel Farage, thwarted in his bid to become MP for South Thanet, said he was personally relieved by defeat. He said his party, which finished second in a swath of constituencies in the north of England held by Labour, had become the party of young, working women. Although Farage offered his resignation, asking Suzanne Evans to become temporary leader, he said he would take a holiday and see if his party wanted him to return to the leadership in the autumn.” – The Guardian

Triumph for Crosby

“A disciplined, relentless and ruthless campaign that saw them obliterate the Lib Dems and stoke fears about the SNP helped the Conservatives to secure one of their notable victories. It marked a huge success for Lynton Crosby, the Australian strategist who also helped Boris Johnson secure two terms as London mayor. Despite concerns that Tory tactics were too boring and negative, the man known as the Wizard of Oz stuck with his strategy. His technique of simplifying the Tory message — scraping the “barnacles off the boat”, as he put it in 2013 — remained the party’s mantra. With a campaign favouring data crunching and “micro-targeting” of the right voters over the so-called “ground war” deployed by Labour, the Conservatives successfully combined key attack messages with their traditional strengths on leadership and the economy.” – The Times(£)

>Yesterday: Columnist Iain Dale: Credit to Crosby – we doubters have egg on our faces

Humiliation for pollsters as bookies pay out millions…

Opinion Poll graphic“Britain’s biggest bookmakers suffered a heavy defeat in last night’s General Election thanks to the shock outcome which saw the Conservatives win an overall majority – overturning the 1/16 odds on a hung parliament. As a result bookies have paid out millions to punters who correctly predicated a Conservative majority winning the election because polls consistently gave the wrong election forecasts. Pollsters predicted a hung parliament with the Tories neck and neck with the Labour party – but last night prime minster David Cameron went on to win a second term as the Conservatives gained a comfortable majority in the House of Commons. Now the British Polling Council has announced it is launching an inquiry into how pollsters got it so wrong.” – Daily Mail


…Robert Hayward’s warning was ignored

Robert_Hayward“In January this year, a political analyst and former Tory MP called Robert Hayward gave an important speech to a select group of opinion pollsters, journalists, and Westminster insiders. Its top line was simple: having analysed the outcome of the 2014 local, European, and Parliamentary by-elections, he was convinced that polling firms were consistently getting things very wrong indeed in their surveys of voter opinion. Specifically, the surveys were repeatedly under-estimating the Conservative Party’s share of the actual vote, while over-estimating that of Labour. If repeated over the coming months, he warned, they’d make a pig’s ear of the forthcoming General Election.” – Daily Mail

Leaders take part in VE Day ceremony

“More than 100 veterans and dignitaries attended a ceremony at the Cenotaph, in London’s Whitehall on Friday. They included PM David Cameron, who was joined by Mr Miliband and Mr Clegg, in their last major roles as leaders of the Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats following their post-election resignations. All three laid wreaths, along with SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon, while defence secretary Philip Hammond and newly-elected MP and Mayor of London Boris Johnson also attended. At 15:00 BST – the moment Prime Minister Winston Churchill broadcast the news of the German surrender to the nation – a two-minute silence was held.” – BBC

Montgomerie: How to avoid the mistakes that followed 1992

MONTGOMERIE Tim offical“In many ways Cameron’s victory is much bigger than John Major’s in 1992. Although he won fewer votes, unlike Major, he gained seats. He also faces a much weaker opposition. Neil Kinnock took Labour to the edge of power while Ed Miliband led Labour backwards and to catastrophe in Scotland. But Tory MPs’ morale is only as good as the latest set of opinion polls and if they think a change of leader or strategy will improve their political fortunes they might pursue it. Cameron has earned an extended political honeymoon but he shouldn’t expect it to last very long. Poor John Major’s lasted less than four months.” – Tim Montgomerie The Times(£)

Parris: In victory magnanimity

“Triumphant as we Tories may be feeling this weekend, I’m still sure the party is living on borrowed time. That lease has just been extended for a few years more. For the sake of the British economy, praise be, thank the Labour party, and pass the prosecco. But, fellow Conservatives, don’t be fooled: it is only a breathing space. They still don’t like us.” – Matthew Parris The Times(£)

Moore: Making “one nation” a reality is the great task

MOORE Charles blue background“If this theme of “One Nation” really starts to govern Mr Cameron’s thinking, it gives him a lead in the coming European referendum – a vote which he doesn’t want, but can’t get out of. A paradox has now emerged because of Scotland’s pro-European feelings. Anyone who votes, in 2017, to get out of the EU now risks breaking up the United Kingdom, with Scotland heading for the Continent and England for the open sea. Mr Cameron is well placed to argue that our Union is best guaranteed within a bigger one, so long as the EU agrees to be loose-fitting. More and more, for those who want to break absolutely with Europe, the referendum is looking like a trap.”- Charles Moore Daily Telegraph

News in brief

  • Pound and Shares surge on election outcome – BBC
  • Green Party blasts voting system – The Guardian
  • UKIP demands introduction of PR – BBC
  • What has Ed done with his giant stone? – Daily Mail
  • Homebuyers get moving as Mansion Tax threat lifted – The Times(£)
  • Is Jim Messina better than David Axelrod? – The Guardian

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