The Conservative Party swept to power Friday in Britain’s Parliamentary elections, winning an unexpected and resounding victory that returns Prime Minister David Cameron to 10 Downing Street in a stronger position than before.
Cameron’s office said he would go to Buckingham Palace, where he is expected to tell Queen Elizabeth II that he has enough support to form a government.
That brings the election to a much-quicker-than-expected conclusion. Polls ahead of Election Day showed Conservatives locked in a tight race with the opposition Labour Party, raising the possibility of days or weeks of negotiations to form a government.
Labour took a beating, mostly from energized Scottish nationalists who pulled off a landslide in Scotland.
With Cameron’s Conservatives winning a working majority in the 650-seat House of Commons, the election result looked to be far better for him than even his own party had foreseen. With 639 constituencies counted, the Conservatives had 324 seats to Labour’s 229.
The prime minister beamed early Friday as he was announced the winner of his Witney constituency in southern England.
“This is clearly a very strong night for the Conservative Party,” he said, stopping just short of declaring overall victory. He would be the first Conservative prime minister to win a second term since Margaret Thatcher.