Update: Conservatives Crush Opponents In U.K. Election

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Update: The world is stuck with David Cameron for another few years. Despite polls that suggested the 2015 British election would be close, by mid-Friday in Britain, it was clear that the Conservative Party will have total control of the government after winning a majority of the races in the country.

The night was a bloodbath for the less right-wing Labour and the Liberal Democrat parties, and leaders of both parties resigned after they saw the final results. Aside from the fact that no one expected things to turn out so well for the Tories, the biggest news of last night was the Scottish National Party won 58 of 59 seats in Scotland. The country also elected its first Muslim woman to Parliament.  

To break it down to the basics: The incumbents pulled off a massive surprise victory, two major political parties lost badly enough to be thrown into total chaos, people who want Scottish independence now have a powerful voice in the British government, and British politics are as screwy and infuriating as American politics.

This story was originally published on May 7, 2015.

The election taking place in Britain Thursday may not be as exciting as the arrival of Princess Charlotte, but it will have huge implications for the country. With the two largest political parties essentially tied as voters head to cast their ballots, it's impossible to predict what will happen next.

The race is so close that even though the polls close late Thursday in the U.K., no one expects to know the results until Friday, NBC reports. And, it could be days before deals forming a new government are finalized.

So, what's happening? The Labour and Conservative parties are tied in opinion polls, and because it's a parliamentary system, people vote for parties rather than specific candidates in the 650 parliamentary constituencies in Britain. But, it's likely that neither party will win more than half the seats in the British Parliament, which is what they'd need to win the election outright.

If no one wins a majority, the big parties will make deals to form a coalition government with smaller parties, who pledge their support and get to share power. This means that the leaders of both major parties, Prime Minister David Cameron and Labour Party leader Ed Miliband, are in a dead heat to lead the country, and they're probably going to have to make some bargains to gain control.

This is what happened in 2010, when Conservatives made a deal with the Liberal Democrats to share power. It did not go well. There is widespread unhappiness with the austerity measures passed by Cameron's government, and (just like in America) inequality is high and people are struggling to meet basic needs like food, housing, and employment. 

But, British voters are proving they're also similar to Americans in their disgust for the entire political establishment, which means smaller parties — like the Scottish National Party, the isolationist U.K. Independence Party, and the Green Party — have gained support. UKIP wants Britain to secede from the EU, the SNP wants Scotland to secede from Britain, and the Green Party is similar to the U.S. Green Party.

Just as you'd expect someone from another country to laugh at some of the details of our political system— think Joe Biden being weird, or the time Michele Bachmann compared the Census to WWII internment camps — there are some bright spots in Britain, too: Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders' brother is running for Parliament, and one of the Labour Party's major figures is named Ed Balls.

Confused? So is pretty much everyone else, and the only easy prediction is that this election has the potential to be a historic mess.
 
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