In the May 7 election in the United Kingdom, the Conservatives, led by David Cameron, took the majority for the first time since 1992. The party was elected in only four seats more than is needed for a majority with less than 37 percent of the popular vote.
Cameron’s opponents—Ed Miliband for Labour, Nick Clegg for the Liberal Democrats, and Nigel Farange for UKIP—all resigned as a result of their loses. The exception was Nicola Sturgeon, whose Scottish National Party won all but four of the seats in Scotland.
Cameron’s campaign included promises of austerity in order to tackle Britain’s ballooning debt and a referendum on withdrawing from the European Union. His government is already moving ahead with the equivalent of a near $19 billion cut to its welfare budget and is in negotiations with the E.U. ahead of a possible referendum next year. (See our article “The European Dream is Fraying” in this issue.)
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