In the general elections on Thursday, roughly half of the electorate of the UK as a whole came together to reject any kind of leftist input into the government. As an enthusiastic supporter of UKIP, however, I wasn't thrilled with some of the results of the election, especially not by the loss and (momentary at least) resignation of Nigel Farage as party leader. The good still outweighs the bad. Thank God (or amorphous spiritual entity of your choice) for small favors.
I realize the leftism that was rejected there is in most ways more foregone than American leftism, but I'm still encouraged that people drew a line in the sand even more clearly than the last election in 2010, when the Conservative Party became the largest party for the first time since before Tony Blair became Prime Minister in 1997.
These were the election results showing each constituency with the same size:
Some are confused on this point, so I want to mention it before other details. Although proportional systems are common in Europe and used in the UK for elections to the European Parliament, that is not the system for general elections to the (Westminster/UK) Parliament. It is first-past-the-post, the same system most American states use for House of Representatives elections. The Economist showed the difference in seats between what would have happened in a nationwide proportional system and what actually happened:
I would also add that a proportional system would have even further encouraged votes for smaller parties because there is much less fear of "wasting" a vote or splitting the vote between candidates roughly in agreement on major points. I'll talk more about tactical voting below.
In 2010, the Conservatives had to form a coalition with the Liberal Democrats, who as the name might suggest are left-of-center. They're a more status-signaling type of leftism for moderate (often suburban, SWPL-type) white people though. They're delusional as far as immigration and other social issues, but they at least understand the practical realities of things like budgets and overtaxing the rich. For more about what the parties stand for and their backgrounds, I wrote a guide for the election here.
Both Labour and the Liberal Democrats suffered mightily though. Two of the arguably top-three politicians in the Labour party, shadow Chancellor Ed Balls and shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander, lost their seats. Also the Labour leader of Scotland, Jim Murphy, lost his seat, which isn't surprising given that there is only one Labour MP left in Scotland. Murphy was seen at this rally with Eddie Izzard, an actor/comedian who likes to wear women's clothing. Izzard can dress however he wants (I'm not as "fash" as some of TRS is), but this just underscores to me how tone-deaf they are to ordinary people.
All of the prominent Liberal Democrats lost, apart from its now-former leader Nick Clegg.
The SNP is essentially a gang of left-wing thugs, so I'm not thrilled with their success, but division between Scottish and English/Welsh leftists is probably a good thing. Also, they only got 1.5 million votes, as compared to about 3.9 million votes that UKIP got. Although the independence vote lost, you don't need a majority to win elections in Scotland, so that's one reason they did so well. Many of the No voters were not as fanatically into politics either, so more of them likely stayed home.
UKIP polled up to 5% higher in many recent polls, but some UKIP activists claim that they were told by many who had pledged support that they were supporting the Conservatives instead in order to stop a potential Labour-led government (which could have entailed cooperation with the Liberal Democrats or the SNP). If UKIP support had reached 19%, they were projected to win about 10 seats. So if that calculation did make up for the last-minute swing to the Conservatives, this indicates that UKIP may have won more hearts and minds over the last five years than even the considerable increase of nearly 10% of the popular vote indicates.
Potential UKIP seats are harder to see here, but there is at least one seat in the Northwest of England and several along the Southeast coast:
At any rate, the Conservatives and UKIP combined for 49.5% of the vote. There is a collection of smaller parties (such as Britain First, the BNP, and the English Democrats) which are considered right-wing and not included in that number. This also doesn't account for conservative voters in Northern Ireland, which has completely different major parties (UKIP is a very minor party there, and the other British parties aren't on the ballot).
UKIP and the Conservatives were the only two major British parties who called for a referendum on the EU membership. To be fair, the Green Party argued for one too out of respect for democracy, although most Greens favor EU membership.
Despite still being over-represented in Parliament, Labour has their smallest number of MPs since the 1987 elections, and the Liberal Democrats have their smallest number since the Liberal Party won only 6 at the 1970 elections.
Also, UKIP is now the number two party in about 1/6 of the constituencies in the UK. This applies to many held by either Conservatives or Labour. This positions them well for potential breakthroughs over the next Parliament.
This is a partial list of UKIP second places with only about half of the seats counted (red were won by Labour, blue by Conservatives):
Looking at England alone, the Conservatives and UKIP combined for over 55% of the vote. Maybe Scotland should have broken away after all. (On the other hand, do we really need another extremely socialist country?)
The Conservative Party is not wildly popular, as their vote increased by less than 1 percentage point; but the point to take home is that despite a growing population, 3.8 million people have abandoned the two major left-of-center parties in the UK in the last five years, while the Conservative gained about half a million votes and UKIP gained about 3 million votes.
Below I will post the charts provided by the BBC where I got the information about total numbers of votes. I removed the Northern-Ireland-only parties as well as Plaid Cymru, which is unique to Wales.
Finally, I wanted to post a map showing the party with the largest gain in each constituency. Even in Northern Ireland, where UKIP isn't even close to a major party, UKIP still had meaningful growth in support in some areas. Scotland was the only area with no purple.